How To Negotiate With Furniture Store Associates
You may not be comfortable selling your idea of what you want and what you plan to spend on furniture. In reality though, in order to get what you want,you may benefit from a quick lesson in the art of buying. Everyone who has ever bought anything knows they bought it because they were convinced their life would be better with the purchase. A smart shopper has to look out for their best interest. Let’s take for example a furniture purchase. Listed below are some guidelines on how to negotiate with furniture store associates to get the best deal and go home happy.
Know Exactly What You Don’t Want
This may seem a bit backwards, right? But when a customer knows what they don’t want, they are able to walk into the store pointing and saying, “No, to this piece”, “No, to that piece”, “No, to the orange table”, and so on. Be convincing though and that part is easy for the customer who has done their homework. Why is this step important?
This is important because now the salesperson is going to think this is going to be a hard sale. A customer like this has set the atmosphere that they are not easily sold. This is a confident customer. It is perfectly fine as a customer to throw out of the running game those furniture pieces that are not appealing.
Many associates will know a customer with this demeanor needs some convincing when it is time to make the purchase. Bingo! The customer has taken control of the buying process by setting some standards of how this transaction process is going to run. All ears are now on the customer who will no doubt continue expressing what he or she wants. And there it is over there…the perfect Queen Anne style couch and maybe “just maybe” you could live with that color.
Personify The Cons Of The Purchase
What are the personal reasons or con’s with purchasing that particular furniture today and right now? Could those issues be a part of this list below?
- this needs to be discussed with the spouse
- the price is higher than what was budgeted
- the space where the sofa is going needs to be measured – it was just remodeled
The more relevant issues there are on the list, the more room there is for negotiation. In order to make this purchase, the sales associate will need to ease the customer’s personal concerns. That may be difficult to do. If the sales associate has not established a personal “vibe” with the customer, the customer is more likely to walk away. Of course that is unless “something else” can be worked out in negotiations.
A smart customer will make the list fit their situation. At this point, leave the pro’s to buying in the hands of the associate. Let the associate talk about the pro’s. The goal here as a customer is to keep the ground fertile for negotiations in the customer’s favor.
Mention The Cons Of The Furniture
Online furniture shopping is so different from going into a brick-and-mortar store to buy furniture. Those sales associates are working hard and are glad to see every customer that pays them a visit. They know shopping has changed. Business is special and helps them to make a living.
The preface to this section is to remember the associates did not make the furniture, so be kind when discussing the cons of the furniture itself. Here are some possible comments to make:
- the fabric material seems a bit too stiff
- it doesn’t seem durable enough for my 3 kids
- the online reviews give this manufacturer a 3 out of 5 stars
One rule of thumb is to think opposites when making the list based on the con’s that can be negotiated. If the plan is to negotiate the price, the customer could bring up sales at a different retailer. However, if the plan is to negotiate a no-charge upholstery upgrade, the customer can mention the durability factor with having 3 kids. Also, fabric protection is a big deal – and it can be expensive. We at Shopping Hog know customers who ask for fabric protection, such as the Scotchgard brand, to be included free of charge.
Ask For Something Extra
Retailers are in the business of buying and selling. What better place to make a deal than in the company of deal-makers? The consumer dollar is meaningful. Yet some people shy away from asking for more than what the retailer presents to them. Think about the planning and sacrifices that go into ever consumer dollar.
Customers should look around the furniture store and ask for something extra. That extra request could be related to the furniture, to an accessory, or even a 10% discount.
For the furniture itself the store could give free Scotchgard protection, free throw pillows, or a free matching ottoman. There are stores that advertise a free ottoman with the purchase of a sofa and love seat. Think your current tables will match, but you are unsure? Well have the associate include a new set of end tables for free. Complete the look with all kinds of accessories such as a table tray, vases, wall murals, silk plants, rugs, or lamps.
There is no harm done is asking for any of these to be thrown into a package with no increase in the price you should have been quoted by now: “Can you throw in the centerpiece for free?”
Making a furniture purchase is a big deal. The furniture industry is a profitable industry of billions of dollars a year. It is true that the customer is important to furniture stores and is responsible for those billions of dollars in profit. So why not be a negotiating customer and get the best deal? At Shopping Hog we give some tips on negotiating the best deals at furniture stores.
The trick to negotiating is that customers should know what they do not want. Starting off negotiations like this puts the customer in control and gets the attention of the sales associate. In addition, the customer should discuss the cons of making the purchase and ask for something extra.