Research and be transparent
Researching similar products and ads helps both sides with their bargaining abilities. It means that sellers can set a reasonable price that allows room for manoeuvring (usually by pumping up the price a bit to begin with). Buyers can use research to make sure they’re not making a totally unrealistic offer or getting a bad deal. If you’re a seller who’s not comfortable with bargaining, or a buyer who doesn’t want to go above a certain threshold, it’s worth making that clear within your ad or your first messages so that things are straightforward.
Take a look at how to buy safely on Gumtree to make sure you have the best possible experience when bagging your bargain.
It can be hard to negotiate a price from behind a computer screen because you don’t get a real representation of the item. So, bargaining face to face can be the better option. Meeting to exchange an item can be as awkward as a first date, though. You can make a good first impression by being polite and respectful – perhaps try utilising a bit of classic British small talk about the weather or the traffic on the way. Building a good relationship with the other party often opens the way to better negotiation. Of course, safety is super important anytime you’re going to meet someone. It’s a good idea – maybe a necessity – to have somebody accompany you.
Checking isn’t cheeky
The old saying ‘if you don’t ask, then you don’t get’ rings true here. As a buyer, it’s important not to be scared to ask for a discount; the worst that can happen is that the seller says no. Checking over the item for any possible issues that might knock the price down is also perfectly fine – as long as you don’t rubbish the item in the hopes of getting money off. That runs the risk of ruining any rapport that you’ve built with the seller.
Trade, don’t haggle
Rather than merely focusing on price, you might consider what you could exchange to sweeten the deal. Buyers can think about things they might offer in return for a knocked down price, whether that’s physical items, helping with the delivery or paying with cash. Sellers can throw in extras to get the full price on an item – for example, if you’re selling a bike, why not include a lock and helmet?
Know your ‘walk away’ point
To make negotiations straightforward, both parties should know when to walk away. If you’re a buyer, it’s a good idea to set the top price you’re willing to pay in stone. And, if you’re a seller, you should know your bottom line and stick to it. It’s vital to respect the other party if they say no. There are plenty more Good Finds on Gumtree – you’re sure to find one that’s meant for you.