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NEGOTIATE LIKE A PRO
Most every day we have a chance to negotiate one if not many types of deals in our lives. And, in order to be successful negotiators, we have to know the basics of the game.

Rule Number One
- Know what you want and how much you will pay to get it. Let us say, for example, that you want to negotiate or dicker with another person on a price for an item at a garage sale. If the item is priced at ten rand and you find that price to be too steep, then your next step is to negotiate it. First, you will have to figure out how much you think that item is really worth. Let us say that you decide it is worth a mere seven rand. Now, decide on a lower price that you can try for, and you come up with five rand. That is half the original price the seller is asking, but it is a good place to start. Finally, decide on the highest price that you will pay for the item, and let us say you will pay no more than eight rand. Now, ofer the seler five rand. He or she might laugh hysterically, but hold your ground and don't be undaunted. If they are adamant about the ten dollar price tag, then you will need some bargaining power on your side. Point out any flaws that you can find in the item. This is a great way to get people to lower their prices. By pointing out any flaws, that makes the item seem like it is less valuable than they think it is. You might not care about scratches or tiny dings, but if you to get the item for the right price, then you cannot let them know that.
From there the seller should typically make a counter offer to your five dollar offer. If they say nine rand, then you can say eight rand and probably be on your way with your newly-purchased item. You will have saved two rand off of the original price, and that is a great start! This is a simple example of a negotiation. But what if you are negotiating on a higher scale...

Rule Number Two
- Be prepared, and be prepared to give and take. That might sound like a double use of words, but what it means is that must first be prepared before you go into negotiations. And, you must be prepared to give some in exchange for something else. In successful negotiations, both sides come out contented that they have gotten what they have wanted.
Let us say now, that you have been offered a job, but it is not exactly what you want. The pay is too low, the vacation time is not enough, and there are not sick day benefits in the package deal either. Sit down and write exactly what you would like to have in a perfect job. Now, keep in mind that the perfect job only exists on television, so this list will be a listing of things you would like to receive. Now, determine what you can do without. Next, write down the least you will accept. That is, the lowest amount of pay, vacation time, sick days, etc. Also write down if you want benefits such as stock options and other benefits.
Here again, when you negotiate, do not be afraid to ask for the highest amount. This is a good starting point for you. The prospective employer you will be negotiating with will have a list in mind too. Now, you two just have to come to terms with each other. This is the part where each of you will be expected to take and to give. You take less pay, but in return you can ask for more vacation time, for example; he or she offers more sick days, but less pay, and so on.

Rule Number Three
- Do not let the other side fool you. There are plenty of pretty slick Joes out there in the world, and they have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves. To help avoid falling into their traps, take your time when negotiating. Do not jump at any offer just because it sounds good. Think about it carefully first. Repeat the offer to the other person in order to verify their terms. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is! Do not listen to statements made by other people that are intended to bully you into making a deal. Do not let them convince you with a sob story either. No matter what, use your good judgement and do not be swayed by their tactics.
In conclusion, know what you want, be prepared, take your time, and do not be swayed by emotional games that some people will try to play. Be prepared to take as well as to give, and, even though chances are against you getting the perfect deal, at least you can get a good deal that you can live happily with!

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