You may be knowledgeable about antiques and their different forms. You may have read all the auction catalogues and know a few people. You know where to find the good ones. But do you know how to haggle?
While the aforementioned traits are essential, it’s equally important that you know how to bargain with antique dealers. Otherwise, you won’t get what you want at a price you can afford (or, at the very least, at a more affordable price). This is where the art of negotiation becomes important. Whether you are planning to buy French garden antiques or Americana pieces, here are some things to help you out:
Mind your words
You should be mindful of the words you are about to utter. A seemingly simple word may cause a loophole in your negotiation tactic, thus losing you the opportunity. You have to be specific. If the price of the piece doesn’t meet your budget, give your specific price. Being specific will make your seller reconsider things, as they have an impression that you are a serious buyer. More importantly, you need to be mindful of your voice; remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Another way of making an offer to the seller is by bundling the pieces. If one piece is too expensive, you can ask to buy it a lower price, but in return, you will buy another piece at its original price. Just make sure that the second piece is cheaper than the first one you are about to buy.
Learn to walk away
There will be instances when your negotiating tactics will not work. This is okay; it does not reflect your ability as a negotiator. At the end of the day, the seller is still making a living, and there are offers from the customers that may be well below the value of the piece. At this point, you need to walk away, if the item you fancy is outside the limits of what you can comfortably spend. This is one reason it is vital that you go to an antique dealer you can trust, so that you know for certain you are getting great value for your money.
Another important thing to remember: build a relationship with the seller. An affinity for antiques could be your springboard to a solid buyer-seller relationship that could serve you well, into the future.
Apply these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better negotiator.