How to Negotiate the Purchase of Your New Flat Screen HD T.V.
(the Toshiba 46LX177 46" REGZA™ Cinema Series® 1080p LCD HDTV with 120Hz refresh rate; our vendor - Ken Crane)
I have long complained that high definition television is the triumph of form over the "content" our 500-plus channels deliver to us.
Nevertheless, the February 2009 deadline to go digital is, more or less, looming. Not to mention the fact that today is our first wedding anniversary and the seventh day of Hanukkah. Christmas is just around the corner.
That confluence of events provided the rationale, the justification for me and Mr. Thrifty to finally bite the H.D.T.V. bullet and negotiate the purchase of technology that would likely cost us more than each of us paid for our first automobiles.
Before putting your non-bargaining toes in consumer negotiations, you might want to take a peek at the U.K Telegraph article The art of being a winning negotiator, our knowledge of which we owe to Diane Levin at the Online Guide.
There's not a lot that's new in the Telegraph's report of a five-day Oxford negotiation program for seasoned professionals -- first "identify what you want, what the other side is likely to want, what you can discover from the public media [and then] build relationships with the other party, picking up intelligence which couldn't be gathered in advance such as his personality, mood, style of negotiating, constraints."
What struck me as noteworthy was the article's expressed surprise that people 'at the top of their game' professionally would feel the need for a course in negotiation.
This is not news to someone like me who realized on my first day of mediation training that I'd been negotiating the settlement of litigation for 25 years as crudely as Cullen, director of the Oxford Programme, said sophisticated business people tend to do. They "negotiat[e] fairly crudely," he said, and "hadn't realised how they could do it so much better."
As I sit at home today waiting for delivery of the TV at the top of this post, I'm going to take my readers on a step-by-step guide to buying the high-end technological gee-gaw of your choice this holiday season. Or, because we don't watch television all that much, the mid-market Flat Screen High Definition LCD T.V., with accessories and furniture.
High-market, mid-market or low-end, one negotiation is as easy or tough as another depending upon your negotiation skills. And to tell you the absolute truth -- those lawsuits with the least in controversy are generally the most difficult to negotiate.
But I digress.
Step No. 1: Preparation, next.