• Don’t mistake negotiating for haggling

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    MIGGY CASTAÑEDA

    MIGGY CASTAÑEDA

    While most of the western world doesn’t take haggling into consideration, it’s an art that most Filipinos use to save money while spending.

    Mastering haggling is a lesson in negotiation that you can use to reduce costs in your daily life. In negotiations, neither party is willing to compromise on their price points and other principles. In haggling, according to Katie Johnston in an article for the Harvard Business School that haggling as a negotiation tool involves both seller and buyer with all their cards out in the open.

    I’ve seen people take prices at face value, without attempting to compare prices or without trying other ways to bring down the cost of certain services or goods. I’ve been told about tactics to haggle when shopping, but how does it apply when it comes to other things that require negotiation?

    Let’s say that you are applying for a loan; your appearance can impact the odds that you get rejected. The way you dress is a non-verbal cue for people to take you seriously in this particular case. If you are negotiating the terms of a loan, it won’t do any good if you show up wearing tattered jeans and sneakers. About 47.1 percent of adults in the country will borrow money, according to a BSP survey on Financial Inclusion but, perhaps, 20 percent of those loan applications might not get approved.

    Negotiation requires knowledge of fair market value of products. If you apply this to negotiate your pay, consider your worth as an employee based on your skills and potential. A survey on Salary.com found that about 37 percent of their respondents would attempt to negotiate, 18 percent would not, and 44 percent have never even thought about it. It’s a matter of researching to figure out how much your job is worth in other companies and creating a table before going into negotiation.

    This tactic applies also to other matters in your life—like the bills you need to pay each month, or the interest rate on your credit card. There’s an opportunity for negotiation in everyday life. It’s no crime to lower your costs across the board to balance against rising cost of living.

    Filipinos often learn to haggle without giving much thought to how else it could be used. The connection between the arts of haggling and negotiation is by no means tenuous. The difference between the two is small and can be bridged easily. Where negotiation is coming to a decision without having all your cards on the table, haggling is having everyone lay their cards out on the table for arriving at a decision that benefits all parties involved.

    Miggy Castañeda writes about personal finance for MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.

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