In order to barter the first thing you have to get out of your head is that money is the only form of payment worth something. In an era where people go on vacations by switching homes with other people it is very clear that things, experiences, and services are worth what want to pay for them.
Just today some of my colleagues were saying, “Only you would be able to get that for free.”
The crazy thing is that this is not the first time I have heard that.
My colleagues were talking about a software that I got by simply calling the company and explaining that I work with people everyday who might be interested in buying it. I made the pitch that if I could have a free account I would use it and be able to demo it for some of my clients whose businesses could really benefit from it.
Just like that I got our team a free account. This is the craziest part… it was that easy.
So many people pay full price, miss out on deals, or even free things just because they don’t feel comfortable asking for a discount or better yet for something for free.
Tip 1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
If I had a nickle for every time someone told me they were just too uncomfortable to just ask for a lower price I would be rich.
What’s the worst that could happen? They say, “No.” Then you pay what you were going to pay in the first place and there is no harm, no fowl.
Tip 2. Learn to master the art of trade
Let’s go back to the beginning for this one. Let me start this out by reiterating what I said in the beginning money is not the only form of payment.
I have a good friend who travels the world offering her website design services in exchange for room and board. In fact, you are looking at a website right now that she designed.
Back in January my friend stayed with me for a month and taught me how to use wordpress, while designing my blog. She needed a place to stay and I wanted a blog. We both got what we wanted and we were able to save money and learn a lot from one another.
Tip 3. Start low
As an avid garage sale shopper one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is to start by asking for the lowest price possible.
I often pick up candles, shoes, picture frame.. you name it and just ask, “Will you take a dollar for this?” Nine times out of ten people take it. Shocking I know. But it’s true and all I had to do is ask.
For the people who don’t take the dollar they often meet someone close to it. Most people will say something like, “Well I was going to ask $5, how about $3.”
Tip 4. Put on your poker face.
When negotiating you never show your cards. Same goes for when you are bartering. No matter how much you want the thing you are negotiating your face should never say that.
Act like it’s not important and when you ask for a lower price it will be believable.
Tip 5. Be prepared to walk away.
The best thing about deals is that they will always be there. So don’t be afraid to walk away.
If the seller is asking too much and you know it’s not worth it then it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
In conclusion, bartering can be a great way to get something for free or cheap. Get creative and you could learn something, gain a new friend, or take an adventure using this new found skill of yours.