Negotiating: Make a Good Deal by Knowing Your B.A.D.

by: R. Kurtz "Kurt" Holloway

Summary:  If you are in the market for expensive products or services offered by multiple sellers, use this effective strategy: research what you need and want, who offers it and each seller’s reputation; write out your specifications and establish the rules for how the sellers are to give you their best price. This will give you your best alternative deals (B.A.D.).

When you in the market for expensive products or services that are offered by a number of sellers knowing your options can help you get a good deal.  Comparison shopping is a good consumer tool. The difficulty is that sellers and providers offering more expensive or complicated products and services often present them in ways that make comparison difficult.

When there is a lot of money on the line, you need to know your best alternative deals (B.A.D.) if you want a deal that is good for you. Knowing your B.A.D. requires a process: researching, documenting and rule making.

Step 1. Research.. There’s no way around it, you’ve got to research to:

Figure out exactly what you need or want

Find out who is offering it

Find out the reputation of the seller  

The vast information available to us at our fingertips means you can do a good portion of your research online. But each situation is different so dig in and spend the time if you want a good deal.

Step 2. Document. Second, write down exactly what you want with as much detail as possible. These are your specifications.

Step 3. Make Rules. Third, set the rules for how the process will go. Things can get tougher here. The other side is also going to have a plan for how negotiations should go. If you are buying a product or service that is easily duplicated, you will have the upper hand. It’s the law of supply and demand. For products and services like these, the buyer has the advantage because supply is greater than demand.  If, however, the demand is higher than the supply then the seller will have the advantage. That does not mean that you cannot control most if not all of how the process goes. If you like to haggle, go for it. But, if you do not like to haggle then give the seller your specifications of what you want and tell him to give you his best price. Bottom line. No add-ons. Tell him you are going to do the same with his competitors. Make it clear you will not divulge anyone’s price to the others. Tell each seller that he only gets one chance to give his best price. This minimizes the game-playing and your time and hassle. Each seller will respect you for being fair in your process. No seller is getting an advantage over the others.

Once the best offers are in, you know your B.A.D. or best alternative deals.  You did your research. You were clear about what you wanted. You controlled the process. You got lowest prices from each at that point in time. All that is left to do is choose. 

Kurt Holloway

About the author
Kurt Holloway

R. Kurtz “Kurt" Holloway was admitted to practice in 1977 in Pennsylvania and later in the Eastern District Federal Court of Pennsylvania. Mr. Holloway’s areas of concentration are Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Elder and Disability Planning, Real Estate Law, Zoning and Land Development, Business Law and Municipal Law.

Read Kurt Holloway's full bio