How to Be a Classy Negotiator

Featured Article, Finance, Home & Family, People
on February 27, 2012

Dave Ramsey is a money-management expert, national radio personality and best-selling author.

Dear Dave,
My husband and I are looking at getting a second vehicle. We found one that we like, and it’s in great shape, but they’re asking more than we can afford to pay. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a low offer without insulting someone?

—Angela via The Dave Ramsey Show

Dave Says: This is a really good question, and I think you’re smart to want to stay on the seller’s good side. You want to be classy and diplomatic. Never point out the bad things about an item someone’s selling just to drive down the price. You’re liable to blow the whole deal right off the bat if you insult their merchandise or insinuate the price is unfair. What if you try something like this? Tell them it’s a fine vehicle, and their price is fair, but the amount they’re asking is outside your budget. Let them know that you want to work out a deal, and in order for it to fit into your lifestyle, you can only pay a certain amount. You might throw in that a lot of people are selling things right now because of the economy, and you’re just looking for the best deal. Maybe that and letting them know you’re standing there with money in hand will help swing this thing in your favor!