Negotiation skills are key to getting a good deal, says Gumtree

Negotiation skills are key to getting a good deal, says Gumtree

I do love to barter and always have done. I am also a bit cheeky and do like the motto ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. This translates to my experience of negotiating. I’m keen to learn more about the tricky world of negotiation in online marketplaces, so I was very excited to attend the How to Academy’s negotiation workshop with Gumtree and expert negotiator, Gavin Presman. Gavin has helped to create the guide ‘The Etiquette of Buying and Selling Online’.

Negotiation skills

The negotiation process was broken down into seven simple steps that made a lot of sense. 1) Research price, product, other ads. 2) Advertise using good key words in title, great pictures, explain faults 3) Connect with the person buying/selling 4) Arrange to meet 5) Meet 6) Examine the product and then 7) Negotiate – trade don’t haggle, offer extras.

There were many parts of this seven-step process that I haven’t followed before. And I have a spare bedroom half full of stuff to sell, so we are going to get rid using Gumtree and these steps! You can learn more about these steps by downloading the same guide I received a copy of here. Or you can even attend the same brilliant workshop I attended by booking a place here on 4th September 2018 at 6:45pm at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, London.

Here are a few examples of my negotiating success and learnings.

The Classic Negotiation of Buying a car

This is a common negotiation that many of us go through. I really hope you don’t fear the car negotiation and give it a try, if you negotiate you absolutely will save money. Our last car purchase was in February 2018 and we spent five hours, yes five hours, in the showroom negotiating the deal on the car.

We went back and fourth so many times, I thought we were getting close to a deal, then my husband decided it wasn’t good enough and we threatened to walk away. We even got as far as the door, before being presented with the next offer.

There was pushy sales tactics in this process, the sales director from head office popped over for a chat. It went on and on. We ended up saving £5k on the list price of the cars we were buying, see this post for lots more info on the car negotiation. Gumtree has a huge array of second-hand cars listed on its website, check them out today and use these negotiation tactics to help save yourself even more money.

negotiation skills
My ultimate list of things negotiated.

The Broadband and TV package renewal

The classic negotiation that happens every 12 to 18 months. You get a deal for the first 12 months of your TV and broadband package with, let’s say Sky, and then they double the price at the end of the 12 months. You need to make that call to renegotiate the price.

My favourite tactic is to say I am leaving. And I terminate the contract as per the 30 days’ notice period. One can almost always guarantee that they will be calling you during that 30 days period to offer you a deal to tempt you back. Customer retention is very important to these companies. It always happens, and you will might get a deal like the one you had when you joined them. Never accept the renewal price, negotiate, or if that isn’t successful then switch!

The Car Boot Sale

This was a classic bartering situation that I experienced for the first time in June of this year. On a whim, Josh and I decided to set up a stall at the Hitchin car boot sale. We sorted out a ton of stuff to sell and priced everything up. We had great fun negotiating and selling all morning long. It was simple negotiation and proper bargaining. What is the price of the bag…£10 (as the price tag says!). I’ll offer you £1. Come on, it’s a £10 bag. How about £2, no £9, what about £3, how about £8.50, then they would walk away. There were a lot of chancers at the car boot trying to batter you down to the bare minimum.


Car Boots are hard core. We sold around half of our stock, which was pretty good for £125, apparently a good car boot sales number.

This is a collaborative post with Gumtree.


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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