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How to Negotiate With a Furniture Salesman

Jennifer VanBaren

Negotiating with a furniture salesman is done frequently by customers who are in the market for new furniture. Most people purchasing furniture don't understand that like car buying, the listed price is not necessarily what you'll end up paying. Many furniture stores are willing to sacrifice on price a little to complete the sale. To negotiate with a furniture salesman, you must begin by having knowledge about the prices being offered for similar products by their competitors.

Furniture purchases are negotiable at most stores.
  1. Do your homework. Before you're ready to buy furniture, shop around and compare prices. Look at sale advertisements from stores and prices online. Understanding the prices of comparable furniture will help you negotiate easier. The salesman will see that you understand what you're talking about and you'll be negotiating from a position of strength, being able to a fair but lower price on the item you desire. It's illogical, for instance, to try to negotiate the price of a $1,000 piece down to $200 after you learn that a competing store will sell it for $900.

  2. Plan your visit. Visiting a furniture store at certain times of the month may offer more negotiating power. Many furniture stores give employees monthly quotas, so visiting near the end of the month may be advantageous, as salespeople may be trying to make last-minute sales to match or beat their quota. You may also meet with more success if you visit on a weekday, since employees can usually devote more time to you and may be more willing to negotiate than during busier weekends.

  3. Begin negotiating. This is handled through various approaches. You can turn the selling price into an obstacle as one form of negotiation. Explain to the salesperson that you really would like to buy a particular bedroom set, but it's over your budget. Another good approach is to bring up competitors' prices on comparable furniture. Explain that you saw a similar bedroom set at the store down the road, but the price was significantly lower. You can explain that you'd rather have this one, but the other one fits better into your budget. Using either approach, you may be offered a discount to get your business.

  4. Ask for other concessions. If the salesperson won't (or can't) reduce the price of the item you want, you can ask for other types of concessions, such as free delivery, a warranty or a free accessory.

  5. Talk to a manager. If the salesperson won't budge on price or offer any concessions, ask to talk to his superior. Talking to a manager often works well when nothing else will and it doesn't hurt to ask. Explain to the manager what you want and he'll possibly offer something, whether it's free delivery or a small discount. Managers typically try to please customers if it's at all possible.