Windows Middle East electronic edition 27th September 2005

There may be great deals on offer at this week's Gitex Computer Shopper show, but that doesn't mean you can't get even more for your money. With a solid strategy and some choice lines, your cash go far. Windows is here to help…

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By  Matthew Wade Published  September 23, 2005

Shop Smart|~||~||~|Rule one: there’s room for negotiation in virtually every purchase. Gitex Shopper may be insanely busy and tons of business may be being done, but if a seller’s decision is between cutting the price a little further or not selling a piece of kit, to you, for cash, then you have a fine chance of being the one to benefit. First however, take two minutes of your time to work out the following: 1. What exactly do you want? Are you looking for a 256MB flash drive with built-in MP3 player, a photo inkjet printer that can produce A3 prints, or a laptop that costs under $1,000? Define in your head exactly what you need and think you can afford. 2. Next, work out what is a fair price for the product you want to buy. To do this, take a preliminary look at the Shopper exhibitors that are selling the product you want. Find the vendor offering the lowest price, circle them on the map included in our free Windows Shopper Guide (free copies available as you walk into Dubai's Airport Expo), then target them first. (To find out who is selling what, refer to the ‘Bag a Bargain’ feature of our guide on page nine). If you negotiate without preparing properly you could make your bargaining position worse, or insult the seller by offering a ridiculously low price, so take this point seriously. 3. Once you have this ‘fair’ price in your head, use it to work out your maximum price. It could be the same, you could maybe stretch a little higher if need be. This part is down to you. 4. If you can, take out this maximum amount in cash from one of Shopper’s on-site ATM machines. You might need this shortly. After you’ve sorted out that little lot, breathe deep, ‘cos it’s time to tackle the trader! 1. First things first, adopt a poker face. If the seller knows you’re chomping at the bit to get your hands on a product, he’s much less likely to give it to you for less. Appear as though you have no emotional attachment to the product and you’ll be one step ahead from the off. 2. Start by offering the seller 40%-50% less than your maximum price. 3. If the seller ‘counter-offers’ (quotes a higher price than yours, but still less than the tag price), consider physically flinching (really), then increase your offer by small amounts up until you reach your maximum price. 4. If the seller still hasn’t agreed to your maximum price, try ‘flashing your cash’. They just might prefer having what you’ve got to seeing you put it back in your wallet and walk away. 5. Last chance saloon – confirm your offer price and start walking away. If they let you go, the sad fact is they’ve probably gone as low as they can go (laptops for instance make sellers very little profit to begin with). 6. However… on the last day of Shopper (Friday 30th September) vendors will probably be gagging to get rid of any unsold stock, so do return to try once again. If your lowest priced seller doesn’t have the product, try the other companies you first highlighted. ||**||

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