The Politics of Haggling

by Carlos Xuma

I recently traveled to China over the last couple weeks to take part in some training and ceremonies at the Shaolin Temple in China. I observed something very interesting on my trip that I wanted to relate to you guys.

During our time in China, I got to do lots of fun haggling with the street vendors and shops. They sell a lot of trinkets, like "Rolex" watches and some genuine North Face gear. Now, I'm sure you know that you can negotiate prices down just about anywhere you shop (even in America). I was getting great deals on name-brand stuff (yeah, and some junk, too...)

But what I found very cool was that the dynamic of interaction with these vendors illustrates many concepts that are applicable with women. Here's a list of things I discovered while perfecting my haggling ability:

1) Don't show too much interest.

If you found something you liked at a booth, you had to be careful not to show them just how much you liked it. If you picked it up and showed a lot of interest, they knew you were hooked before you even started haggling over the price.

I watched one guy who had made this mistake. He picked up a couple books he wanted and proceeded to try and work the price down. You could see by how he held the books that he had already decided to buy them, which meant that the vendor could be a lot more difficult with the price. He looked as if he already owned the books, so that meant the guy selling them didn't have to lower his price much at all.

The best tactic was to pretend as if you were actually only slightly interested in what you wanted to buy. I went to several booths and just scanned my eyes over the merchandise, not letting on what it was that I actually wanted. I casually worked my way around to the items I was interested in without letting them know I was looking to buy them. The more they thought I was just "looking," the more interested they were in selling to me, because I might move on at any second.

2) You have to be willing to walk.

If you can't walk away from the table and risk losing the thing you want, you cannot get the best prices. Inevitably, a vendor would lower his price if you put down the object you were interested in and started to move away, as if you had lost interest. They would come back with another lower offer to keep you there.

The person with the most desire would lose in the battle of the wills.

3) Let THEM lower the price first.

If you let them start the bidding for the item you want, they'll set a price that's anywhere from 2-10 times as much as you can get for it. The first thing they want to know after they tell you the price is what you want to offer. Once you offer a number, you really can't go lower than that, and they'll know how to deal with you. It prevents you from going too low on them. And most people will feel bad about offering too small a price, even if it's the most fair.

But if you get them to push the price down before you make an offer, you're in a far better position. You've demonstrated that they are willing to reduce the price, as well as put yourself in a position of power.

So, I always treated the first offering price as if it was totally unfair and unrealistic. I got them to see that I wasn't interested in a price that high, and they'd have to work to get me interested. This got them to understand that I wasn't a sucker.

4) Let them know you can get the same thing somewhere else.

We worked out a buddy system that helped us get a lower price. Whenever we saw a friend haggling over an item, we listened for their last offer. Then, we swooped in and said, "Hey, no way, dude. I just paid only $25 over there. C'mon, I'll take you."

And right then, the vendor would jump in with a competitive price. They knew that they had to match it or risk losing you.

5) The sellers always let you think you got away with a deal, even if you were paying three times higher than the lowest they would have gone.

Value is a perception. They would make you work hard to make them lower the price, and even if you only talked them down a few dollars, you felt like you got a much better deal. Also, if you let the vendor feel like it was agony paying whatever price they offered, they would lower theirs.

The process of haggling and working down a price was actually a very simple game. If you know what you're doing, you can apply these principles to your dating and seduction approach.

Here's how to use these strategies for yourself:

1) Don't show too much interest.

A woman doesn't want to feel like you just fell in love at first sight. She wants to know you're interested, and you'll have the most success when you can hold back on letting her know how much you are interested in her.

This is where most guys screw it up with beautiful women. They show too much interest and lose their value because they're no challenge at all. If she thinks you want her too much, you're going to lose your leverage.

2) You have to be willing to walk away.

You need to be able to walk away from ANY woman. This includes the one you're dating or even married to. A person values what they have much more if they know they could lose it at any time. They also realize that a person with the ability to leave is someone worth holding on to.

3) Let HER lower her price first.

If you pay her asking price (through her level of maintenance that she demonstrates with her behavior) you'll be locked into a situation where you have no power. She'll own you because you are willing to pay whatever she asks, and this is just like desperation. When someone agrees too readily to your price, you are always left wondering "Would they have paid more?"

Get her to lower her price (maintenance level) before you even think about taking ownership of a losing situation.

4) Let them know you can get the same value elsewhere.

Never be afraid to let a woman think you've got other "products" you're interested in. This will change her perception of your value as a buyer, as well as her perception of her own value when she realizes that you have options.

If she thinks that you think you're in a scarcity situation, she knows she has the supply, and all you have is demand. But if there is competition - good, healthy competition - you will stand a much better chance of keeping some level of posture and dignity.

5) Never act as if you're the one getting the "deal."

You always act like the other person is the one getting the great deal in the transaction. If you are too happy to be standing in her shadow, you're obviously not an Alpha to her, and she'll pick up on this and get rid of you. You have to be completely confident that you'll get what YOU want from this deal.

Using these haggling principles, we were able to get t-shirts for around $1 or $2 each, a name brand outdoor jacket for less than $10 (instead of over $100), and other bargains too numerous to mention.

If you use these principles with WOMEN, you can get the same kind of bargains in the dating and seduction world.

Carlos Xuma