Feb 15, 2009
The Art of Negotiation
Our TV has been on it's last legs for several months now, and yesterday we agreed it was time to bite the bullet and buy a new one. I did some research, found information I needed on manufacturers, warrantys, cables, etc., and we headed to the local electronics store where they were holding their President's Day Sale "extravaganza". We've moved into the 21st Century and purchased a Plasma Flat Screen High Def TV. I asked a lot of questions (that I already knew the answer to, thanks to my research). A wonderful "equipment specialist" stepped us through all the details, along with simply viewing all the TV's in the store, we made our decision on a TV. The price? $1799, on sale for $1399. A new DVD player that ?upgrades? standard DVD's to HD, $149 on sale for $89. Two HDMI cables at $95 each (one for cable to TV, one for DVD player to TV). Delivery and set up - $120.00. Service contract $395.00 for three years (sounds like a lot, I know, but according to what I researched, almost any part for a plasma TV is $300 to $400 plus labor!). A new stand for the TV to replace our humongous entertainment center: $370 on sale for $185.00 Total cost pre-sale: $2839. Sale price: $2378.00 Armed with information and knowing what I actually needed, but pretending not to know, my negotiations went like this. Me: OK, I'll take this TV. Sales guy: Wonderful choice, ma'm! Let me ring it up for you! Me: Do I need to buy a special cable for High Def TV? Sales guy: Yes, you're going to need an HDMI cable Me: You'll throw that in for free, right? Sales guy: Well, let me see.... Sales guy: OK, I'll give you that for free. Me: I've decided to take the DVD player too. Sales guy: OK, I'll add that in... Me: Will we need another cable for that? Sales guy: Ummmm... yes, you will. Me: So that's free too, right? Sales guy (looking nervous): Well, let me see if I can do that. Me: OK, but don't forget I'm paying cash today. Sales guy: (Goes away, talks to manager, comes back...) OK, I can give you that second cable for free too. Me: How much is an extended warranty on the TV? Sales guy: $395 for three years. Me: OK, I'll take that too. Me: And I need a TV stand -- I saw one there that I like -- add that in. Sales guy (brightening): OK. Me: Is that your store manager over there? Because I want to go tell him how wonderful you've been to us today. (He says yes -- and while he's keying in the invoice, I go over and talk to the manager. The Sales Guy is VERY happy with me now.) Me: Now, this is a big TV. I'm not going to be able to fit in my car, am I? Sales guy: No. You'll need a van or a truck - or we can deliver it to you. Me: What's the delivery fee? Sales guy: For standard delivery, it's $70. For Deluxe Delivery where they set it up, set up your DVD player, calibrate the color, and take away your old TV, it's $120. Me: Best Buy is offering free delivery, free setup and they'll take my old TV away. Sales guy: (gulp) Me: Will your store match that? Sales guy: Let me get your invoice finished up here and I'll see. Me: I'm sorry -- before you do the rest of the invoice, I need to know if you'll match Best Buy -- otherwise I probably ought to go over there. (*beam*) Sales guy: OK, ma'm. I'll match their offer. Me: I want to watch the Daytona 500 tomorrow in HD -- can you deliver it today or tomorrow? Sales guy: Well, I'll have to call and see what the schedule is. Me: OK, because there's really no point in buying it if you can't deliver it and set it up in time for the race. I think I'll just have to buy a smaller TV I can fit in my car... that one over there is just $399, right? Sales guy: (Breaking out in a sweat) (Goes away, talks with manager, makes a phone call... comes back). Yes ma'm we can deliver it tomorrow but they will have to call you between 6am and 8am to confirm delivery early enough for you to watch the race. Me: Oh, that's OK, I'm up anyway. Final cost of 47" plasma HD TV, DVD player, TV stand, 3 yr warranty, "deluxe" delivery: $1800 - $578 less than sale price! Yeah baby! UPDATE: Apparently the delivery truck people damaged our television. The company called and stated that they had no more 47" in stock -- would we be willing to accept a 50-inch in it's place? Obviously, we accepted. Everything we received we paid $300 less than the price of the television alone. An even better deal than I anticipated. It's all good.