The of date on the next month,

The topic for my real-world negotiation is to sell
my car with a good reasonable price before I graduate. At this point, I only
have one semester left until my
graduation. After I graduate, where to park the car can be inconvenient because
I won’t know where to live until I find a job. Considering the uncertainty of
my settlement, having the car would cause some unnecessary trouble and fees in
term of fatigue some road trip, insurance
expenses, parking garage expense. Therefore, it is better to sell the car
instead of keeping the car.

I set my goal at $20,000 for the final price, and the
price cannot go below $16,000. In addition, because I took my car to an auto store for full system checking, and I
changed blades and pads of the brake
system, one of the tires, and engine oil for it, the price is higher than the
market price $15,000. In this negotiation, I talked a woman who was interested in buying this car. However, at the
end, we could not make the deal because the zone of possible agreement was very
limited. Cars is the kind of the product that can be out of date on the next month,
and the value of older model of cars would drop dramatically. In addition,
there are always a lot of options for buyers to choose a car. Therefore, it’s
hard to get a good price for used cars. The person I have talked with, tried to
lower down the price much more than I could accept, so it’s better to reject the
deal. Furthermore, the price which a dealer offered was higher than $15,000, so
I could just sell the car to a dealer instead of accepting selling the car at
$15,000. Besides, selling the car to a dealer is a quicker and more secured way
in sense of obtain payment. There is no point of accepting the deal when the
alternative option has a much better price than
the buyer offered me. Overall, I think “no agreement” is a reasonable
outcome for this case.  

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            At the beginning, I posted the
information of my car and my contact and stated why I wanted to sell the car on
several second-hand car-selling websites. After I waited about several weeks, I
received an email from a person saying that she saw the selling information on
one of the second-hand car-selling websites and
she wanted to get more informaition of the car. I replied the email with detailed car information, and
anchored the price at $23,000 which will still allow me to reach my target
price after the buyer claims a lower price. Not surprisingly, the person didn’t
accept the offer. Instead of asking for a lower price, she asked me why would
ask for such high price because the market price of the car she found out on
the internet was around $15,000. The first move of the buyer gives her ultimate
potential of getting some good reasons to get a lower price. Therefore, I told
her that I just did maintenance for the car and
replaced several parts, and the expenses are included in the price. Because
some people don’t care about the condition of the
car that they are selling, buyers couldn’t find some of the minor issues
when they purchase. After the buyers used the car for almost a month, they find
there are some strange situations going on with the car (for example, the back
light goes off when the car hit the bump) but they couldn’t know what exactly
the problems are, so they will have to go to an auto store back and forth just
for checking what is the issue and fixing the issue. Therefore, I told the
buyer that even though I want to sell the car, but I care about the
relationship between the buyer and the seller too, hiding minor issues of a car
and selling it can ruin the relationship between them and reputation of the
buyer. By explaining my intention and thoughts, it would give the buyer a
sincere impression about me. Moreover, I also told her that I think it is
better to buy the car at the price I offered with a guaranteed quality instead
buying a car from somewhere else at a lower price which might cause a lot
troubles for you later. It would cost time for her to fix, and at the end, it
might be even more expensive than the price I offered. My statement would not
only explain that why I ask for a such price, but also make the price persuasive
for her.

She insisted to get the car by paying me with $13,000. At this point, she
changed the way to approach a lower price because the price was reasonable
enough due to the reason I gave. Then I lowered down my price to $22,000. She didn’t reject the price directly and ask for a
price that she preferred. Instead, she asked me to schedule a drive test for
her so that she could decide whether the car is worth the price that I asked. The
meeting provided me more information on the person. By setting up the drive
test with the buyer, I could get more sense in term of personality and working
class about the person, which is helpful for determining some of risks
(dishonesty, fraud, information stealing) that can be explored to me.

The buyer is a Mexican woman who is about 30 years
old. When I met her, she was wearing hoodies, snickers, and jeans. She told me
that she recently ran into a car accident and the car was scrapped. She was using her mom’s car because her mom didn’t
use the car very often. However, she still wanted to get a car just for herself.
She was trying to give me a good impression and build a good relationship with
me, so she could have more room to bargain for the price. Meanwhile, she also
told me that she is working hard, but things didn’t go easy on her. What she
told me made me become sympathetic toward her.

 The drive
test took about an hour and half to finish the driving test with her. She was
friendly and easygoing in the way of talking. I asked her if she really wants
to buy the car, she stated that she liked the car. It felt good when she was
driving. However, she felt the price was still too high for a car. She asked me
if I could decrease the price to $13,500. Her sincere attitude made me believer
that she really wanted to buy the car. I told her that “the price is way too
low compared to my target price, but if you really want to buy the car, I will
go back and figure out a better price that can work out for both of us later.”.
Because I need the price to cover my replacement expenses of the parts of the
car, I couldn’t decrease the price for too much and decided to give her 5%
discount on the original price, which would result a price of $20,900. In
addition, I promised her that I would take the car to an auto store to do a
full function checking with her when there is an agreement. Because the bargain
zone the negotiation is far apart, it is hard to have an offer that can
possibly satisfy both sides. In this negotiation, the outcome that would
benefit the seller is to reach a win-lose situation. There is no point of
reaching the deal for both of us if the outcome eventually cannot meet the
requirements. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t accept the offer, and asked me to
sell the car for $15,000. Besides, she wouldn’t be able to pay the full payment
at once because she needed to have some money in hand for running her business.
Therefore, she wanted to pay me with $10,000 upfront. Nevertheless, I couldn’t
accept multiple payments due to the time that I could possibly wait for
receiving the money and the risk of not getting the money. I communicated with
the buyer through email for several times. 
We couldn’t reach an agreement as she insisted to pay me $15,000.

In this negotiation, emotion, timing, knowledge, and
approach of communication are the critical factors that affected the
negotiation. Emotion is the least critical factor that affected the
negotiation. In a negotiation, emotion usually can fuel one party’s behaviors,
energize the party, back up one party’s offer, and improve or destroy the
relationship between two negotiators. Sympathy is the emotion that affected me
in the negotiation. As soon as I got to know that she was going through some
troubles in her life, and she couldn’t offer me too much money for car because
of it, I started feeling it is hard to stick with my price. I almost wanted to cut
down the price and offer a price that she can afford during drive test.
However, because I needed to make the price accurate, I couldn’t tell her a specific
price at the time. After I got back to my room, the impact of emotion reduced
so I didn’t change the price decrease too much. I was more calm in the way of
thinking what I should in this negotiation. Otherwise, I think it would accelerate
the process of negotiation since I would have less space to fight for an idea
agreement for me. The next critical factor is timing. When a negotiator has
time pressures, his or her flexibility is diminished. The other negotiator can
use the time pressure to his or her advantage when the negotiator is aware of
the timing constrain of the other negotiator. In this case, I need to sell the
car before I graduate. The good thing is that I still have enough time to sell
the car. Nevertheless, people have a lot options to get cars with a good price
so it might be hard to stop the buyer from checking for other cars. When the
buyer was doing drive test, I told her that I need to sell the car before I
graduate when she asked why I want to sell the car. Then the buyer tended to delay
her responses for the deal, and increasing the pressure on me. It seemed like I
was being backed into a corner because of the time pressure. Another major
critical factor is knowledge. As the seller in the negotiation, I could offer
solid information like VIN number, Carfax history, title, and registration to
the buyer, so that the buyer could verify whether my information is fake or
not. On the contrary, I couldn’t get enough solid information about the buyer for
verifying her identity. The buyer could lie about who she is, why she wants the
car, and where she got my selling information, which might affect my approach toward
the buyer. Lacking of knowledge of the buyer made the negotiation become hard for
me. The last critical factor is the approach of communication. Due to the
inconvenience of meeting in person, this negotiation was mainly based on emails.
I only talked with the buyer face to face for once. Therefore, if I want to effect
the buyer by using emotion techniques, it would be hard to achieve since words
can’t give the person impact like body language can. In addition, it also makes
it difficult to read or understand the psychological movements. Otherwise, I
could know her feeling on my offers. Sometimes I couldn’t make process on the
negotiation because of this reason. Our communication was not efficient at all.
Overall, this negotiation was full of deadlock.

Comparing this real world negotiation with one of
the negotiations in the class, Bullard Houses, the interest of the buyer and the
seller has an overlapped area, which means there is a ZOPA for the real world negotiation.
However, both of the negotiators couldn’t compromise for the price. There is no
zone of possible agreement for the price. The Bullard Houses negotiation has
opposite situation. It doesn’t have zone of possible agreement for the interest
but it has zone of possible agreement for the price. In my negotiation, getting
a good price is important for me so I would not sell the car for a price that
is too low for me. Otherwise, the negotiation would end up with a win-lose
situation.

From this experience, I feel there are still a lot
things that I need to learn and practice for getting a good negotiation result.
I was confident during the negotiation, but I missed using some of the techniques
that could possibly help me to strength my offer. I learned that I need get
used to apply techniques during negotiation. For instance, when the buyer was
trying to gain my sympathy, I could express myself in a similar fashion to
obtain her sympathy. Her offer would get weakened in the same way. In addition,
by expressing personalities, and using body language, I can improve the
relationship with the other negotiator or weaken her offer. In reality, I don’t
like expressing my emotion too much, which makes me become a weaker negotiator
in cases that involved with emotions. I think it takes time to change because as
an interior person, expressing emotional things is not something I would feel
comfortable enough to do. Moreover, I was used to make agreements with other
people in the class when the offer was not too bad. However, when a negotiation
occurs in real life, I found that achieving the goal of a negotiation is what
really matters. Otherwise, there will be someone doesn’t feel happy about
result of the negotiation. In order to avoid getting a lose-lose situation, it’s
better to find an alternative solution for the negotiation.