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Unless you are born rich, where you can afford everything that displayed on the price tag of the products or services, and you are willing to pay for everything at the markup price, else we have to negotiate with the seller to get a better deal.

Throughout my life, I have to negotiate in almost everything, from buying food in the market to negotiate for lower rent for a house/room in Penang (Malaysia) and Singapore, buying car product/services, cost for sponsored post on my automotive blog ( and also my daily full-time job as Global Commodity Engineer in Razer for the cost reduction program and better business terms for the business contract between Razer and vendors.

Oh ya, I even have to negotiate to increase my pay with the HR for the job in Agilent, 3M and Razer as well.

One simple rule that I learned in my life is, to be a better negotiator is we must ALWAYS HAVE OPTION at our position.

For example, to get a cheaper rental room in Singapore, I would tell the agent or house owner during the house/room viewing, I will always request for the price drop between SGD 50-100 from what the current offer price.

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Here how I do it:

After I take a look in the room, I would discuss with the agent or homeowner that I really love the room but the price is slightly higher than my budget, and I just went to view a room yesterday at nearby and the room is cheaper by SGD100. If the rental would lower by SGD 50, then I will take your current offered room.

This simple strategy of negotiation gives me the bargaining power to allow the seller to have pressure to lower the price since I have to better option to pick. Usually, the seller might able to lower the rental cost between SGD 25-50 after I negotiated.

Sometimes, you don’t really have the cheaper deal but to be an effective negotiator, we must always show to the seller that we always have the OPTION to pick.

Another example from my career as Global Commodity Engineer in Razer. Constantly, I required negotiating with global vendors from Singapore, Taiwan, China for better pricing for the cost reduction program.

I would always approach more than 3 vendors that selling the same parts, and I will collect vendors pricing information for comparison.

Then whenever there is time for me to negotiate the price with the vendors, I would inform them there are other vendors able to provide lower price at least 20% that what the current vendors are offering. If the vendors not able to give me the lower price that what we are expecting, then we will switch the different vendors that able provide us the target price.

As you can read from these examples, negotiation is all about having OPTIONS from our side. You will be surprised how easy you can get the better deal if you learn this simple golden rule of negotiation.

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