Diamond Ring

Is time mightier than the tongue when negotiating?

Time is money. If you have time, you can save money. Lots of it. Here’s a true case of time-based bargaining with an (expensive) ring of authenticity.

The longest haggle

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but jewellers fear the fiancé who knows how to haggle. Dick* wanted to buy Jane* a stunning $11,000 diamond engagement ring, but he only had $8,500 to spend. Franz* the jeweller said $8,500 wasn’t nearly enough.

Yet Dick had time on his side. He’d asked Jane to marry him without a ring, so she could be part of the choice. The wedding was many months off, so there wasn’t any rush.

Time out

Dick told Franz he realised the retail business can be cyclical. He said that if Franz ever had a bad month of sales, he could count on his $8,500 purchase. Franz said a $2,500 discount was never going to happen and Dick said OK.

Nine weeks later, Franz rang offering the ring for $10,000. Dick said no. Two weeks after that, Franz rang with his "last" offer of $9,500. Again Dick refused.

Franz said he’d never ever get such a magnificent ring for such a low price. Dick said $8,500 was all he had. A week later, Franz rang to say Dick could have the ring for $9,000 cash.

Dick replied he only had $8,500 cash, but that he’d be happy to put it in Franz’s hands that afternoon. With an audible grinding of teeth, Franz finally agreed.

Time cheque

It’s true what they say: time really is money. Once you’ve compared suppliers and products to find your perfect purchase, start working on price. Most luxury goods have at least a 200% mark-up (often much more). So even if you get what you want for half price, the seller still makes a handsome profit.

  • Be clear about what you want and how much you want to spend.
  • Be polite.
  • Most importantly, be patient. Take your time and stick to your guns; no matter what.

Do this and the bargain of a lifetime should fall into your lap.

Ring in

Have you ever tried this kind of long-term haggling? Did it work? If you haven’t had a go, why not give it a crack? I’d love to know how you get on! ☺


Fred Schebesta is a Director of finder.com.au and loves being frugal and finding loopholes in deals.

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