Why You Should Make Your First Price Offer Very Specific

It’s well known that you get an advantage by making the first move in a price negotiation: If you’re the seller, for example, and you offer a price before the buyer does, a higher quote from you will lead to a significantly higher agreement price. But you can increase that advantage by stating your offer as a precise, rather than a round, number, says a team led by David D. Loschelder of Saarland University in Germany. In an experiment involving customers in an antique shop, when a 1910 oak writing desk from the Jugendstil period was offered for €1,185, the average agreement price was €1,046.19; if the opening offer was €1,200, the final price was just €929.50 (customers didn’t actually buy the secretaire; they were simply asked to settle on a price).

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