Last But Not Least

Whether in desperation or by design, the final offer is one of the strongest--and trickiest--plays in deal-making.

No kidding, my very first "negotiation" took place at a flea market in Morocco. It was for a leather jacket. Per local custom, I grimaced, pointed out countless flaws in the garment and feigned disinterest; the merchant whined, gesticulated wildly and began dropping the price sharply. Each time he said, "This is my final offer," I sauntered out of his stall. And each time, the grizzled old man called me back, lowering his price again. Ultimately, I got the jacket at way, way below the asking price. I smugly thought I was a natural, until I found out the merchant still made a 1,000 percent profit!


A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, Marc Diener is the author of Deal Power: 6 Foolproof Steps to Making Deals of Any Size (Owl Books/Henry Holt). You can reach him at MarcDiener@aol.com.

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Last But Not Least.

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