Money Monday: How to Make a Deal

Auto Dealer Standing At Counter Working In Dealership Office

With all the talk about supply chain delays impacting holiday shopping, low housing inventory and a demand for new or used vehicles driving up prices, you may think you can’t cut a good deal. Most people, under normal circumstances, lack the ability to haggle or negotiate for what they want. The truth is, though, you learn the skills required to cut deals with practice. That said, employ these negotiating tactics and strategies as you set out to save this holiday season.

Haggling 101

Let the other party do most of the talking, while you do more listening. That usually allows the other party to reveal more information than necessary and help you when bargaining. Now, in order to have them do more of the talking before your haggle, the key is to ask open ended questions. For example you may ask: “what flexibility do you have?”  This is better than: “do you have any flexibility?”  Don’t box yourself in when setting up to negotiate by not asking open ended questions. You would be preventing the other person or party from spilling the beans and giving you valuable information!

Religious or church people have a saying, “ let go and let God.”  You’ll need to adopt that disposition in this circumstance. It should be a no-brainer, but do your research before going out to cut a deal. If a product has a large profit margin to the seller but a short shelf-life, chances are,  the seller may be more willing to haggle. Think seasonal goods, and even computers and electronics.  They will soon be updated and become obsolete or perishable. But the “let go and let God” part means you must know when to walk away. Be prepared to walk out the store without purchasing the item if the deal is not right for you.

Where Can You Cut Deals 

While it is not impossible to negotiate with the big retail chain stores, you are more likely to cut deals with the mom and pop, local stores or neighborhood businesses. There, the owner might also serve as the sales clerk. At the big stores you can share how often you shop there and that you are a loyal customer. Sure you have loyalty and reward card points, but if you throw in a bit of charm with the loyalty, it could result in savings.

Know, and use the name of the sales clerk and introduce yourself by name. If you have to speak with the manager,  consider letting the sales person know how much you appreciate their efforts and that you would say a kind word of promotion to their boss, which could score you some extra point in haggling for a discount.

Big Ticket Items Like Cars

When haggling, be flexible. You may not get the color or all the options you want, but that gives you an opportunity to haggle over the price.  In seeking a deal, strategically, you should negotiate the sales price before discussing financing. The reason is because at least half of a dealer’s profits come from service and financing contracts. Therefore, focus on the sales price because the dealer is not only interested in selling you the vehicle, but the service and financing contract. Play it cool and don’t tip your hand to the dealer.

Here is a critical point you may not pay attention to when purchasing a vehicle. In the instance where you have a vehicle to trade in, you may consider trading it to the same dealership from which you are purchasing your next vehicle. This option will provide you with haggling power, but more importantly reduce your sales tax amount. I know some of you may be thinking that you may be losing money. You may think that if you sell your vehicle privately, you’ll get more money for it, and thereby increase your deposit on the new vehicle. But, what you need to consider is whether in the state in which you live, the sales price and therefore the sale tax is affected by your deposit or traded-in vehicle.

Simply put, in some states the sales price is reduced by your traded-in vehicle, making you sales tax lower. However, in some states your deposit has no impact on your sales price or tax. Knowledge of your state rules places you in a better position to haggle over your next deal.


Black young woman doing shopping in a storeToday’s what’s up is about what I refer to as the ten commandments of holiday spending and money management. You don’t have to be religious to follow these commandments, although I might be speaking as Moses!

Commandment 1

If you have not paid off all of your credit cards charges from the 2020 holiday season; you shall not use your credit card this holiday season to purchase any item.

Commandment 2

If you have not created a holiday spending budget, you shall not engage in holiday spending using your credit card and you should not go shopping with anyone who does not have a budget, as they may encourage you to over spend.

Commandment 3

If holiday spending will cause you to exceed 30% of your total available credit or what is referred to as your credit utilization, you shall not use your credit card to exceed the utilization amount of 30%. That will impact your credit score.  While I can’t give you all the commandments in this article, what I have provided will help keep you debt-free and become a more responsible steward. And that’s what’s up!


Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC . Give2Get Rich, LLC 2021. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

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