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Written by Marijn Overvest | Reviewed by Sjoerd Goedhart | Fact Checked by Ruud Emonds | Our editorial policy

Haggling Strategy — 4 Tips for Negotiation Success

Key takeaways

  • Haggling is a strategy used by professionals to bargain persistently.
  • The haggling strategy makes you think about how good you are at negotiating and where to improve.
  • Master the art of negotiation by understanding strengths and weaknesses to ensure success in procurement and management.

Haggling strategy, also known as negotiation, is a widely recognized term used primarily in interactions with sellers at markets or malls. It has become so commonplace that it’s no longer solely associated with professional negotiation tactics aimed at achieving desired outcomes.

To put it simply, haggling is also known as the most simple form of the procurement process

For today’s article, we’ll talk about how to haggle your way to success. That is, of course, becoming a better negotiator through the four steps used by professional negotiators when dealing with difficult negotiations. 

After this article, you’ll already become the best haggler in your procurement or management team!

The Art of Haggling to Success

The haggling strategy or simply haggling is just the simple word for negotiating. We already know that at the start of this article.

But there is more to haggling than just simply trying to take advantage of the other party to get what you want.

It’s also about persuading the other party to accept your offer or conditions without making them feel threatened.

Try talking to the common folk about negotiations and their usual reaction would be to avoid the conversation or derail it to another topic. But if you were to haggle your way into getting what you want, sometimes, the other party has no idea that they’ve already been convinced!

Ask the following questions before you start trying to haggle your way to success:

1. What are my strengths—values, skills, and assets—in this negotiation?

Learning where your limits are is one of the big foundations of becoming a professional negotiator. Knowing where you stand before, during, and after the negotiations will also help you prepare for other negotiations in the future.

2. What are my weaknesses and vulnerabilities in this negotiation?

Give yourself time to assess what your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are and you’ll be unstoppable at the negotiation table in no time at all.

3. What lessons can I apply from past negotiations to improve my performance?

Learning from your past mistakes is crucial. You can only learn to be the best negotiator by looking back at your past mistakes and not doing them again.

4. How long should talks last? What deadlines are we facing?

Are you negotiating for extending a deadline? Are you in a hurry to finish negotiations so you can move on to the next step? Take these into consideration as well.

Sometimes, the other party doesn’t appreciate being rushed into making a decision just because you are late for another event.

5. What are my interests in the upcoming negotiation? How do they rank in importance?

Again, look at what you want to achieve with the current negotiation. From there, learn what you can about the other party and decide on how to take the initiative with the negotiations.

The 4 Tips For Negotiation Success

Haggling your way to success is not easy. Some might argue that the art of negotiating is sometimes born into someone; this is far from reality, to be honest. No one is born a natural negotiator.

Most of the time, the haggling strategy is learned through experience and from a great teacher or coach.

That is one of the basic truths covered should you find yourself learning to become a true negotiator in online classes and seminars. 

There is also no shortcut to becoming a professional negotiator. During online negotiation seminars such as the Negotiation Course For Procurement Professionals, every scenario during a negotiation is analyzed with scrutiny.

Numerous lessons are often incorporated in every scenario to help both the newbie and the seasoned negotiator improve their craft.

That is because every negotiation is a different scenario with different circumstances and different outcomes!

But haggling (or negotiations) is still haggling. There are also tips on how to make your haggling to success easier.

And for those who are very interested in learning the secrets, here are the 4 tips on how to make negotiations or haggling for you more successful:

1. Learn Where to Stop 

Surprised that this is the first step in the list? Well don’t be; learning when to quit is always the first thing to learn when studying how to haggle to success.

Understand that you will always encounter people who are not easy to budge, with despite using anything and everything you’ve learned.

Whether it’s by the book or through experience, there will always be that stubborn human being who will not be easy to sway to. In times like those, it’s better to quit.

Never feel bad when quitting. This is not the end of the road for you as a negotiator. It just means that negotiations have stopped, but it doesn’t mean that you are a lousy negotiator.

Only those who can’t seem to move on from a failed negotiation or haggling are the lousy ones!

2. Understand What the Other Party Wants

When using the haggling strategy, you want the other party to accept and understand the terms that you want. That’s well and good, but for the haggling to succeed, you also need to understand what your opponent wants. 

And sometimes, you also need to give them a little bit of what they want. Because hey, if it helps you achieve your end goals, then giving the other party a concession may work wonders for you.

3. Understand your BATNA

For those who are not familiar with the term BATNA, it’s the acronym for Best Alternative to No Alternative.

Simply put, it’s that particular situation where you choose to get the best among your other options instead of not getting anything at all.

It is usually employed as a last resort tactic if you’re dealing with someone who may agree to a concession in the end.

While you are not exactly getting what you’re targeting during the haggle, a win is still a win no matter how small it is. During negotiations, you sometimes have to take the smaller victories at times so you can prepare for the bigger ones. This notion is also called your BATNA.

4. Be Courteous and Considerate

Now here’s a trick question. Is it fun to haggle with someone who is rude, or disrespectful? Of course not, right? So if you’re going to start haggling with someone, always remember to be nice. According to expert negotiators, the chances of getting a good deal from a pleasant negotiator are higher compared to someone who charges in and starts demanding favors or orders.

Of course, there are also times when you need to be considerate of your situation. If you’re trying to get a favorable outcome during a negotiation, you also need to be direct and serious. Sometimes, a negotiator who always agrees to concessions is seen as a weak negotiator. 


In summary, this article highlights the synonymous nature of negotiation and haggling, emphasizing that haggling is a fundamental aspect of the procurement process.

The focus is on becoming a better negotiator through four key steps employed by professionals in challenging negotiations.

By addressing questions related to strengths, weaknesses, past experiences, time considerations, and interests, readers are guided in preparing for negotiations effectively.

The article then provides four practical tips for negotiation success, emphasizing the importance of knowing when to stop, understanding the other party’s desires, recognizing the Best Alternative to No Alternative (BATNA), and maintaining courtesy and consideration throughout the negotiation process.

Mastering these principles will undoubtedly enhance one’s skills as a successful haggler or negotiator in the procurement or management domain.

Frequentlyasked questions

What is haggling?

Haggling is the art of driving a price that you want towards the other party.

Why is haggling important?


]The ability to haggle is considered as the pre-requisite skill to becoming a good negotiator.

Should I haggle all the time?

That depends on what you’re buying, of course. Haggling is a useful skill, but haggle too much and stores will most likely close down before you can enter!

About the author

My name is Marijn Overvest, I’m the founder of Procurement Tactics. I have a deep passion for procurement, and I’ve upskilled over 200 procurement teams from all over the world. When I’m not working, I love running and cycling.

Marijn Overvest Procurement Tactics