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The First Quote

Never accept the first quote! The first quote that you receive will often be an initial feeler price just to see how you react. There are many ways in which people can react no matter how subtle, or even a lack of a reaction will tell someone how you feel about the offer. A good tip is to seem shocked or visibly flinch to let the supplier know that you are not happy, this in turn could make them feel uncomfortable about the offer.

Most of the time it will take more than a few offers or counter offers to get to the one that suits everyone involved. You should get a number of different quotes from a variation of trade suppliers and use it as ammunition in your sourcing negotiations.

Another thing is that most people will start off higher simply because they will expect you to say no and they will eventually have to come down in price. Keep this in mind!
Ask Questions

Never be afraid to ask questions, the more you know about the company or person you are negotiating with, then the more of a chance you have of finding out what makes them tick. You will be pleasantly surprised how much information you can get just by asking simple questions. The information you get might be in the form of a direct answer or it might be a reaction to the question, but one thing you can be sure of is that the information is there for you to get. If you ask someone a direct question then they are rarely ready with a quick response and will usually end up telling you the truth. You could ask a number of seemingly pointless questions and get your information that way.


Always practice your negotiating skills at every opportunity you can get. Trade suppliers deal with possibly more people than you so they could be well versed. It’s only fitting that you should also be well versed when it comes to negotiating with trade suppliers.
Walk Away

One of the most important things is the ability to walk away. No matter how badly you want something, you should always be ready to ‘walk away’. If the supplier gets a sense that you need what he is selling or that you are going to buy from him anyway, then it will be a lot harder for you to negotiate.

By letting him know that you want what he has, you are putting him in the driving seat. Remember that you are in the driving seat and this is your car. You say where you are going. Always maintain the power of the conversation. You have what he wants, not the other way around.

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