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There are a million tips and tricks that you can remember to keep in mind when you set of shopping.  Don't forget your coupons.  Shop around.  Offer a lower price.  Wait before purchasing big items to ensure you need it.

These are all great ideas and there are many, many more.  However, I think the most important one to remember is simple:

Don't be afraid to walk away.

This one sounds simple, but it's something you should always remember.  Think about this: Until you hand over your money (or sign a contract), you still have the ability to walk away.  Don't be afraid to!

If there's something that makes you feel uncomfortable, if you don't like the terms or conditions, if you're not convinced you're getting the value you're looking for, if you're not satisfied with the product you're getting: Don't be afraid.  Walk away.

I think many times people, myself included, get locked into something.  People who are in the business to sell you things have a knack at picking up on this, and guess what?  They're going to use this to their advantage, which is often your disadvantage.

Original Image by brocco_lee

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  •  Consider your audience and know when you have leverage. If you have someone behind you willing to buy the product at the price offered, you probably don't have much leverage.  So, standing in line for your iPad and then trying to talk the salesperson down probably isn't a good use of anybody's time.
  • Refine your approach on how to let it be known that you would consider walking away.  Often times, you never even have to utter the words.  It can be as simple as a pause in the right place, or stepping away to ‘make a phone call'.
  • Don't overplay your hand – In addition to ‘sniffing out blood', salespeople also will lose interest and detach themselves from you if they don't feel you're a serious buyer.  If you bluff when you really do intend to purchase the product, be careful that you don't let this backfire.
  • Know what you want.  If you don't have a clear objective, you will probably never feel comfortable with your potential purchase.  Know what is making you uncomfortable and what it would take to get you into your comfort zone.  If it's price, fine.  Know the price you need and be honest as to whether getting to that price would make you happy.  There's a fine line between dickering and being wishy-washy.  Stay on the right side of the line.
  • Understand your options – Sometimes a threat to walk away will work and you'll talk the salesperson into better terms.  However, many times you won't.  For whatever reason, the salesperson might be willing (or obligated) to let you walk away.  Know beforehand if you really will walk away or if you will then accept the terms of the sale.

Bottom line, don't ever forget that you are the customer and to use this to your advantage before letting that salesperson close the sale.