The Hunt for Hidden Treasure: Let's Make a Deal

The art and fun of angling for the best price

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!


Hidden Treasure 
  Before You Start
  Where to Look
  Let's Make a Deal