How to bargain in English

Go over this situation:

You are at a flea market and see a vase you like. The vendor tells you it’s $20. You think the price is rather expensive. How do you bargain his price (you might also try to haggle the price)?

Take a look at these expressions:

1. Start from the lowest price: “I’ll give you $8.” – The vendor will then either accept it or counter with another price.

2. Let say, he counters you with another price, you may say “Is that the best price you can give me? How about $10? That’s my last offer.”

Another situation: You are at an automobile dealership, and the salesman quotes you a price on a new Cadillac. Here’s how you want to handle that situation:

1. When he tells you the price, you raise your eyebrows with surprise, as if you can’t believe what you’re hearing. You then ask him “is that the best you can do?”

2. When he starts making excuses, you interrupt and mention the salesman at (name a competing dealership) quoted you a price that was $3,000 less for a fully loaded Lincoln. (Lincoln is a car comparable to a Cadillac, but made by a different manufacturer.)

3. When the salesman tells you that’s the best he can do, you thank him for his time, then turn and start to leave. Most of the time, he will stop you and say “Hold on, let me talk to my manager, I think we can do business.”

Some generic phrases you can use when bargaining:

• Is that your best price?

• Can you lower the price?

• Can you make it lower?

• That’s too expensive. How about $…?

• Is there any discount?

• Can I get a discount?

• How much is this and this (pointing at the items) altogether?

Here are some examples how you handle a situation when you don’t get a good deal on something:

1. Well, I was just going to look around, I wasn’t sure I’d be buying today. If only it was $10 less … (said in a mock-hesitant, undecided voice)

2. I’m still looking around, I think I might be able to find it at a better price. Thanks for your time.


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