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Drastic Discounts or Deception…

Siobhan Bermingham
Negotiation Black Friday [Converted]
© Adobe Stock

As Black Friday fast approaches the hum of excitement is building, murmurs of killer deals and discussions about treating oneself to items you might otherwise never consider buying. Is this due to the ‘huge discounts’ or is it the illusion of the limited time offer and FOMO (fear of missing out)?

In recent years more and more people have become savvy to the false perception created around discounts and Black Friday – a large percentage of companies intentionally inflating prices ahead of time to enable them to slash down their prices for Black Friday and still maintain their profit margins. As much as this tactic has worked for a period, more and more people are becoming disillusioned by the Black Friday pricing games.

When it comes to negotiation, especially with long-term partners, there is certainly a risk to giving drastic discounts. Firstly, it can then set a precedent for future negotiations having large discounts and secondly, the party receiving the discount may become uncomfortable with the deal and wonder whether there is still more money/margin on the table, resulting in negotiations being opened up again. Far from the outpouring of thanks you may have expected for your ‘good will’ pricing slash.

When negotiating it’s important to structure the expectations of the other party. Remember that giving in too easily sets a precedent for future negotiations. Rather than handing out huge discounts, move modestly and always trade any shift in pricing for a concession from the other party or the closing of the deal.

Become a creative negotiator – think beyond price and volume. Much like a sofa during Black Friday deals doesn’t have to only be drastically discounted in price – it could instead be packaged into a deal that’s more appealing than the sofa on its own – for example a package deal of 2 sofas, a matching footstool and optional furnishing accessories. Always find out, what is the gap to close this deal? Is there a price issue – in which case work on bargaining and move modestly. Or is it a shape issue - in which case keep the overall value the same but repackage how it is presented/shaped.

As for me, I’ll still take a sceptical, quick glance at the online ‘discounts’ this Black Friday. After all, maybe I’ll find a justifiable excuse to purchase an impressive gadget I know deep down I will hardly use.

Siobhan Bermingham
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