The topic for my real-world negotiation is to sellmy car with a good reasonable price before I graduate.
At this point, I onlyhave one semester left until mygraduation. After I graduate, where to park the car can be inconvenient becauseI won’t know where to live until I find a job. Considering the uncertainty ofmy settlement, having the car would cause some unnecessary trouble and fees interm of fatigue some road trip, insuranceexpenses, parking garage expense. Therefore, it is better to sell the carinstead of keeping the car. I set my goal at $20,000 for the final price, and theprice cannot go below $16,000. In addition, because I took my car to an auto store for full system checking, and Ichanged blades and pads of the brakesystem, one of the tires, and engine oil for it, the price is higher than themarket price $15,000. In this negotiation, I talked a woman who was interested in buying this car.
However, at theend, we could not make the deal because the zone of possible agreement was verylimited. Cars is the kind of the product that can be out of date on the next month,and the value of older model of cars would drop dramatically. In addition,there are always a lot of options for buyers to choose a car.
Therefore, it’shard to get a good price for used cars. The person I have talked with, tried tolower down the price much more than I could accept, so it’s better to reject thedeal. Furthermore, the price which a dealer offered was higher than $15,000, soI could just sell the car to a dealer instead of accepting selling the car at$15,000. Besides, selling the car to a dealer is a quicker and more secured wayin sense of obtain payment. There is no point of accepting the deal when thealternative option has a much better price thanthe buyer offered me. Overall, I think “no agreement” is a reasonableoutcome for this case. At the beginning, I posted theinformation of my car and my contact and stated why I wanted to sell the car onseveral second-hand car-selling websites. After I waited about several weeks, Ireceived an email from a person saying that she saw the selling information onone of the second-hand car-selling websites andshe wanted to get more informaition of the car.
I replied the email with detailed car information, andanchored the price at $23,000 which will still allow me to reach my targetprice after the buyer claims a lower price. Not surprisingly, the person didn’taccept the offer. Instead of asking for a lower price, she asked me why wouldask for such high price because the market price of the car she found out onthe internet was around $15,000. The first move of the buyer gives her ultimatepotential of getting some good reasons to get a lower price. Therefore, I toldher that I just did maintenance for the car andreplaced several parts, and the expenses are included in the price.
Becausesome people don’t care about the condition of thecar that they are selling, buyers couldn’t find some of the minor issueswhen they purchase. After the buyers used the car for almost a month, they findthere are some strange situations going on with the car (for example, the backlight goes off when the car hit the bump) but they couldn’t know what exactlythe problems are, so they will have to go to an auto store back and forth justfor checking what is the issue and fixing the issue. Therefore, I told thebuyer that even though I want to sell the car, but I care about therelationship between the buyer and the seller too, hiding minor issues of a carand selling it can ruin the relationship between them and reputation of thebuyer. By explaining my intention and thoughts, it would give the buyer asincere impression about me.
Moreover, I also told her that I think it isbetter to buy the car at the price I offered with a guaranteed quality insteadbuying a car from somewhere else at a lower price which might cause a lottroubles for you later. It would cost time for her to fix, and at the end, itmight be even more expensive than the price I offered. My statement would notonly explain that why I ask for a such price, but also make the price persuasivefor her. She insisted to get the car by paying me with $13,000. At this point, shechanged the way to approach a lower price because the price was reasonableenough due to the reason I gave. Then I lowered down my price to $22,000.
She didn’t reject the price directly and ask for aprice that she preferred. Instead, she asked me to schedule a drive test forher so that she could decide whether the car is worth the price that I asked. Themeeting provided me more information on the person. By setting up the drivetest with the buyer, I could get more sense in term of personality and workingclass about the person, which is helpful for determining some of risks(dishonesty, fraud, information stealing) that can be explored to me. The buyer is a Mexican woman who is about 30 yearsold.
When I met her, she was wearing hoodies, snickers, and jeans. She told methat she recently ran into a car accident and the car was scrapped. She was using her mom’s car because her mom didn’tuse the car very often. However, she still wanted to get a car just for herself.She was trying to give me a good impression and build a good relationship withme, so she could have more room to bargain for the price. Meanwhile, she alsotold me that she is working hard, but things didn’t go easy on her. What shetold me made me become sympathetic toward her.
The drivetest took about an hour and half to finish the driving test with her. She wasfriendly and easygoing in the way of talking. I asked her if she really wantsto buy the car, she stated that she liked the car. It felt good when she wasdriving. However, she felt the price was still too high for a car.
She asked meif I could decrease the price to $13,500. Her sincere attitude made me believerthat she really wanted to buy the car. I told her that “the price is way toolow compared to my target price, but if you really want to buy the car, I willgo back and figure out a better price that can work out for both of us later.”.Because I need the price to cover my replacement expenses of the parts of thecar, I couldn’t decrease the price for too much and decided to give her 5%discount on the original price, which would result a price of $20,900. Inaddition, I promised her that I would take the car to an auto store to do afull function checking with her when there is an agreement.
Because the bargainzone the negotiation is far apart, it is hard to have an offer that canpossibly satisfy both sides. In this negotiation, the outcome that wouldbenefit the seller is to reach a win-lose situation. There is no point ofreaching the deal for both of us if the outcome eventually cannot meet therequirements. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t accept the offer, and asked me tosell the car for $15,000. Besides, she wouldn’t be able to pay the full paymentat once because she needed to have some money in hand for running her business.
Therefore, she wanted to pay me with $10,000 upfront. Nevertheless, I couldn’taccept multiple payments due to the time that I could possibly wait forreceiving the money and the risk of not getting the money. I communicated withthe buyer through email for several times. We couldn’t reach an agreement as she insisted to pay me $15,000. In this negotiation, emotion, timing, knowledge, andapproach of communication are the critical factors that affected thenegotiation. Emotion is the least critical factor that affected thenegotiation. In a negotiation, emotion usually can fuel one party’s behaviors,energize the party, back up one party’s offer, and improve or destroy therelationship between two negotiators. Sympathy is the emotion that affected mein the negotiation.
As soon as I got to know that she was going through sometroubles in her life, and she couldn’t offer me too much money for car becauseof it, I started feeling it is hard to stick with my price. I almost wanted to cutdown the price and offer a price that she can afford during drive test.However, because I needed to make the price accurate, I couldn’t tell her a specificprice at the time. After I got back to my room, the impact of emotion reducedso I didn’t change the price decrease too much.
I was more calm in the way ofthinking what I should in this negotiation. Otherwise, I think it would acceleratethe process of negotiation since I would have less space to fight for an ideaagreement for me. The next critical factor is timing. When a negotiator hastime pressures, his or her flexibility is diminished. The other negotiator canuse the time pressure to his or her advantage when the negotiator is aware ofthe timing constrain of the other negotiator.
In this case, I need to sell thecar before I graduate. The good thing is that I still have enough time to sellthe car. Nevertheless, people have a lot options to get cars with a good priceso it might be hard to stop the buyer from checking for other cars.
When thebuyer was doing drive test, I told her that I need to sell the car before Igraduate when she asked why I want to sell the car. Then the buyer tended to delayher responses for the deal, and increasing the pressure on me. It seemed like Iwas being backed into a corner because of the time pressure. Another majorcritical factor is knowledge. As the seller in the negotiation, I could offersolid information like VIN number, Carfax history, title, and registration tothe buyer, so that the buyer could verify whether my information is fake ornot. On the contrary, I couldn’t get enough solid information about the buyer forverifying her identity. The buyer could lie about who she is, why she wants thecar, and where she got my selling information, which might affect my approach towardthe buyer.
Lacking of knowledge of the buyer made the negotiation become hard forme. The last critical factor is the approach of communication. Due to theinconvenience of meeting in person, this negotiation was mainly based on emails.I only talked with the buyer face to face for once. Therefore, if I want to effectthe buyer by using emotion techniques, it would be hard to achieve since wordscan’t give the person impact like body language can.
In addition, it also makesit difficult to read or understand the psychological movements. Otherwise, Icould know her feeling on my offers. Sometimes I couldn’t make process on thenegotiation because of this reason.
Our communication was not efficient at all.Overall, this negotiation was full of deadlock. Comparing this real world negotiation with one ofthe negotiations in the class, Bullard Houses, the interest of the buyer and theseller has an overlapped area, which means there is a ZOPA for the real world negotiation.However, both of the negotiators couldn’t compromise for the price. There is nozone of possible agreement for the price. The Bullard Houses negotiation hasopposite situation. It doesn’t have zone of possible agreement for the interestbut it has zone of possible agreement for the price. In my negotiation, gettinga good price is important for me so I would not sell the car for a price thatis too low for me.
Otherwise, the negotiation would end up with a win-losesituation. From this experience, I feel there are still a lotthings that I need to learn and practice for getting a good negotiation result.I was confident during the negotiation, but I missed using some of the techniquesthat could possibly help me to strength my offer. I learned that I need getused to apply techniques during negotiation. For instance, when the buyer wastrying to gain my sympathy, I could express myself in a similar fashion toobtain her sympathy. Her offer would get weakened in the same way.
In addition,by expressing personalities, and using body language, I can improve therelationship with the other negotiator or weaken her offer. In reality, I don’tlike expressing my emotion too much, which makes me become a weaker negotiatorin cases that involved with emotions. I think it takes time to change because asan interior person, expressing emotional things is not something I would feelcomfortable enough to do. Moreover, I was used to make agreements with otherpeople in the class when the offer was not too bad. However, when a negotiationoccurs in real life, I found that achieving the goal of a negotiation is whatreally matters. Otherwise, there will be someone doesn’t feel happy aboutresult of the negotiation.
In order to avoid getting a lose-lose situation, it’sbetter to find an alternative solution for the negotiation.