Sunday, April 5, 2009

Guitars, Negotiation and Saving Money

Yesterday I bought that little beauty pictured next to what you are reading. The "Ibanez PF5ECE Acoustic Electric Guitar with Cutaway" is listed in most stores and on the Internet for around $299.00, but I didn't pay that much for it. Why? Because I asked.

I have expressed my inability to relate to cheapskates that say to stay inside, sew your own clothes, spend all night cutting out coupons for your shopping, etc. I think those dudes are ridiculous. Who wants to live like that? And better yet, who has the time?

I am a few pages into Ramit Sethi's "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," and it is really good so far. The one point that he made that I liked was that people don't focus on the large stuff, they are always focused on finding that cheaper latte or something along those lines. I thought that was a great way to look at it. I have been meaning to get better at negotiation and being assertive. My wife is always on me about being more assertive with people I don't know. For some reason I am really shy with people I don't know which definitely isn't indicative of my personality once I get to know you. I am the kind of guy who orders something at a restaurant and gets the wrong order and just eats it anyways because I don't want to trouble the waitress or something? I don't really know why I don't say anything to be quite honest but that is the way I am.

My point is that I have been trying to put myself out there more with people I don't know. I really want to focus on getting better at negotiation. So yesterday when I went to purchase my guitar I knew that I wasn't going to pay retail value for it. Everything is negotiable I kept telling myself. I ran through a couple scenarios in my head of how I was going to deal with common responses and rejections. However, when I got there and asked for a military discount (which was my first strategy) the guy had a brother in the military. They obviously had no formal military discount at Guitar Center but he went and asked his manager. He came back and said he could give me 10% off, and just like that I had saved myself some significant money. Not only that, we started talking about his brother a little bit and he recommended the guitar that I ended up buying which wasn't even in the showroom. The guitar kicked ass for the money and I found it all because I pushed myself to negotiate. Now I wouldn't even really call this scenario negotiating, but I imagine this scenario would unfold more often if I went into more experiences prepared to negotiate.

Back to Ramit's point, most people spend so much time and energy on finding that discount or sale on a latte or laundry detergent but then they walk into a Guitar Center and buy a $300 guitar because that is what the price is in the store. Focus on big ticket items when you try to save. I am using experiences like my guitar buying experience as practice. How am I going to negotiate on my next property when I can't even negotiate a guitar from a headbanger at Guitar Center? Something I am still working on but its food for thought.


Levi J Sheppard said...

that's a beaut. great purchase.

I'm writing a negotiating guest blog for you (on car buying), it's almost finished. I'll email it to you when I'm done.

Matt Bader said...

Nice I am pumped to read it.