Negotiating the best deal...... Doing your homework is the first
step in negotiating the best deal you can (see Before
You Start). It is essential to know the approximate value of
an item and how much you are willing to pay. It is also important
to know the rules and customs of negotiating in different venues.
Generally speaking, anything goes when shopping at tag sales and
flea markets. The later it is in the day, the more willing the seller
is to negotiate. But don't wait if you really want a particular
item or someone else might beat you to it.
Negotiating with professional antique dealers, whether in stores
or at shows, requires more discipline and tact. You can offer less
money than is on the price tag, but generally speaking, a dealer
will not accept less than 20% below the marked price. They are willing
to wait for another day for another customer, in order to get what
they feel is a fair deal.
No matter where you shop, know what you're willing to pay for an
item and stick to it. Be careful not to get too impatient or excited
and spend more than you planned. Also, if a seller knows you're
willing to settle on a higher price than you're offering, he'll
keep the negotiating open. So be sure to wear your poker face!