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From Joshbraunnegotiation

Negotiation 101 – Stop Being Needy

By December 13, 2015 5 Comments

I recently listed some furniture on Craigslist for $1200.  By not being needy, using silence (lengthening the duration between texts), and creating scarcity, I was able to get my full asking price. Here’s how the negotiation unfolded:


Thursday: The buyer plays good cop/bad cop and tries an assumptive close

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Friday: My response

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Buyer’s response (immediately)

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Me – No response



Saturday: Buyer’s response

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Sunday: My response (creating scarcity and not sounding desperate)

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Buyer’s response, 3 minutes later

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Stop being needy.   Being needy leaves money on the table, may commoditize your brand, and could possibly even repel your dream customers.  So the next time you get into a negotiation, slow down.  Take a breath or two.  And have an abundance mentality.

Josh Braun

About Josh Braun


  • Harry Gottlieb says:

    Love this.
    Was wondering if there really were two other buyers.
    And if not, if the one buyer you had wasn’t as interested, if you’d have been willing to lose the sale to maintain your price. Or how you think about it.

  • Josh Braun says:

    Thanks for your comment. Here’s my mindset when I get into a negotiation. First you need to be crystal clear on what your walk away number is. Mine was $1200. You also need to have an “abundance” mindset, meaning that you need to believe that there are lots of buyers out there. And you need to deeply believe that your offering is the prize. That it’s unique. I knew my furniture was priced fairly based on the condition, the age and what it sold for new. But bigger than that I knew there was nothing exactly like it being sold used. In other words my furniture (or your offering) was the prize. If you were in the market for white modern furniture from West Elm (my ideal customer) than this was the perfect offering. I wasn’t looking for people that were just interested in buying furniture.

    So yes, I was willing to walk away from this buyer if he didn’t come up. Notice I didn’t say “lose the sale”. I knew my buyer was out because I had a clear definition of them (West Elm, modern white furniture).

    If you have a clear picture of your ideal customer, AND you are unique AND the value you provide far exceeds the value in the mind of the buyer, than there will be always be others. You just need to find, or in this case wait for your idea customer.

    Now were there really two other buyers or was I just posturing? Hahahaha. What do you think?

    • Harry Gottlieb says:

      So then why didn’t you price it above $1200 if that was your walk-away price. If you’d said $1400, and given the buyer room to negotiate (which typical on Craigslist), might that not have been a better approach? I mean, it even would have given you a chance to get $200 more if someone didn’t try to negotiate…

      • Josh Braun says:

        LOL. So the furniture was originally listed at $1400. HOWEVER what you don’t know is that this was a ‘team sale’ and unfortunately the other rep (aka my wife) went rogue and immediately reduced the price to $1200 when the buyer countered at $1000. Yeah, I know. It was a needy move. Oh, and I actually goofed during the transaction and agreed to be paid via PayPal rather than cash which cost me an addition 2.9%.


        P.S. – I still have a beautiful standing mirror from West Elm but there are a few people coming to take a look tomorrow. Interested?

  • Josh Braun says:

    One more thing – make sure you understand “all” the sticking points before negotiating each ask. You can do this by simply asking “Is there anything else?”. Keep asking “is there anything else?”, until you understand all the points. That way you’ll be able to determine what you can give and what you need to get.

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