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Teaching Children How To Haggle

kid-with-squirt-gunGarage sale shopping is more than just a bargain treasure hunt for children. It turns out that learning how to haggle over the price of an item can be an excellent way of teaching children how to negotiate. Start by teaching your kids always to be respectful of the seller. A politely phrased question, such as "M'am, would you take a nickel for this doll?" is more likely to get an affirmative answer than whining or crying to Mom or Dad. Plus, it's hard for some sellers to resist a cute youngster offering a shiny nickel for a teddy bear or a toy truck. Next, school your youngsters for a "no" reply in case you run into a Scrooge. Some people are going to be rude and it could just be because they had to get up so early to set up their garage sale. Make sure that the children are armed with a stock reply, such as "OK, I'll ask my mom or dad about it." It gives the child control over the situation so they aren't frightened by rudeness. At the same time it alerts the seller that the child isn't unaccompanied. Sometimes this tactic can result in the adults conducting the haggling but be sure to include the child in the conversation, such as, "Would 25 cents for this doll be OK with you, Susie?" Older children with particular interests, such as sports trading cards, stamp collecting, video games of all sorts, etc., should be encouraged to become experts in the value of their interests. In this way, an older child can often startle an adult seller into a better deal by demonstrating knowledge of the object's value. Parents and older children also can become a haggling tag-team through observation. Children are much more observant than adults give them credit for being. Often for this very reason, children are less threatening observers than adults. Consequently children can watch their elders as they haggle over other purchases and give their parents valuable intelligence about how flexible a seller is. This creates a bond between parent and child, especially when their teamwork results in the purchase of a bargain of mutual value and benefit. The proudest moment of course will be when your youngster successfully conducts the negotiation for an item all by himself or herself. When this happens, and it will, you've scored a double success.