Sometimes it is better not to negotiate
Although I am an advocate for negotiations any time, anywhere, any how, there are times when negotiation is not appropriate. Here are four circumstances when I simply do not negotiate.
1. I Don't negotiate With friends.
I am not talking about negotiating about movies or restaurants where you pick the restaurant today and I pick one tomorrow. What I am talking about is money. For example, if I am buying something from a friend and it is a fair price, I am inclined to pay the asking price without haggling. I find that that not negotiating is better for the friendship and is worth far more than the few dollars I might have saved. If asked why, I say, "I don't negotiate with friends!" Sometimes, I will say, that's non-negotiable. Friendship is more important than negotiations.
2. I don't negotiate when the price is already ridiculously low.
If an item is a dollar or fifty cents and everyone knows it is priced to sell and worth much more, I think it is insulting to negotiate with a quarter or something lower. When that happens, I make a decision that I am not going to negotiate.
3. I don't negotiate when the salary or offer is ridiculously high.
My general philosophy is to always negotiate salary because if they want you, there is usually money on the table. However, once I was offered a salary that was much higher than I expected in my wildest dreams. I did say I wanted to think about it overnight, but I did take the advice of a relative who suggested I accept the offer before they took the offer off the table. I violated my own rule but was glad I did not negotiate under the circumstances. If it is too good to be true, accept right away.
4. I don't negotiate when the money is for charity.
When I am attending an event where all the proceeds are for a charity, I usually don't negotiate since it is for a good cause. My philosophy is that a lot of people are volunteering their time to make money for their favorite charity and my job as a consumer is to help them meet their goal. It is not my job to try to get the lowest price. I want the charity to make some money.
Even when you do not negotiate, you are still negotiating like a pro.
Mary Greenwood, www.MaryGreenwood.org
Author of How to Negotiate Like a Pro, winner of 9 book awards, How to Mediate Like a Pro, winner of 12 book awards, and How to Interview Like a Pro, winner of 13 book awards.