If so, you’re not alone. Two and a half times more women than men say they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiation, according to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever’s “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide.” Women initiate negotiations about a fourth as often as men do, and 20 percent of women refuse to negotiate at all, even when they know it is in their favor. Men tend to see haggling as a game, whereas women see it more like “going to the dentist.”
Personally, I love negotiating (I got my best practice by haggling with cab drivers in Israel!) and am eagerly awaiting my next dental cleaning (it makes me feel, well, clean). But I can understand why most women don’t enjoy the art (and it is an art) of negotiation. If that sounds like you, take a look at Amy Reiter’s article on Salon, “How I learned to haggle.”
The haggler-adverse Reiter offers some tips on haggling, courtesy of Rick Doble, co-author of the new book “Cheaper: Insiders’ Tips for Saving on Everything” and the self-proclaimed “king of haggling”:
Don’t knock the item.
Don’t try to haggle with someone who doesn’t have the authority or the time to talk; it’s just a waste of your time.
Reiter braves the big ol negotiation at — of all places — a 99c store. The manager knocks down the price on several items. And let me tell you, if it works for Rieter, it can work for you, too.