Mastering Bargaining Skills as a Foreign Trader

Mastering Bargaining Skills: A Foreign Trader’s Guide

In the world of foreign trade, negotiation is an art form. It’s a delicate dance where the buyer and supplier engage in a battle of wits, striving for that sweet spot where both parties can walk away satisfied. So, what are the best bargaining skills every foreign trader must master? Let’s dive into the intricacies of this high-stakes game and discover how to emerge as a victorious buyer.

The Power of Patience

Sometimes it is easier to reject a supplier’s first offer. However, if the buyer and supplier have been negotiating for several months, there are high chances that the suppliers will suddenly make a reasonable offer when you’re about to give up. At this time, it gets difficult for the buyer to reject the supplier’s offer.

Counter-Bidding: A Strategic Move

However, from experience, this is should not be the final offer. The buyer needs to counter-bid and see the supplier’s reaction in the counter-bidding process. Even if the final price does not fall, the supplier will have a sense of victory. This will also position them well for future purchases.

The Importance of a First Happy Agreement

A first happy agreement with the supplier sets the tone for smooth future cooperation. Buyers will not feel any sense of loss.

A Real-Life Case Study

Why is this happening? Let’s analyze a specific case as we take you through the buying process.

Tom’s Story

Tom served as the President of a real estate company in Southern California. It was a large company with 28 branches and 524 business representatives. One day, a magazine advertising salesman came to Tom’s office to sell advertising space to Tom. Tom was familiar with the magazine and knew this was a good opportunity, so he decided to advertise in the magazine. The offer from the salesman was also reasonable at $2,000.

The Art of Negotiation

But because Tom likes negotiating, he involuntarily used his negotiation skills to push the price down to $800. The buyer then started imagining what was on Tom’s mind: “Gosh, if he can push the price from $2,000 to $800 in a few minutes, what if I continue to talk, how far down will he press my price?”

Meanwhile, Tom began to use the “higher authority method.” He told the salesman that, “It looks good. But I have to ask the management committee for advice. They have a meeting this evening. I will talk to them and give you the final reply.”

The Unexpected Twist

A few days later, Tom called the salesman and told him: “The whole pricing thing really embarrassed me.” In the buyer’s mind, Tom should be able to convince them to go with the $800 price. However, Tom disappoints the guy, telling him the company’s recent budget situation would not allow huge expenses. However, they gave a new offer which is too low such that I’m embarrassed to tell you.

The phone goes silent for a while, and then we hear: “How much did they agree to pay?” “500 dollars!” “Okay,” the buyer says. What, Tom wouldn’t believe the salesman has agreed to such a low price. However, due to his negotiating skills, he still feels cheated and believes he can drive the price even lower.

The Supplier’s Perspective

In the case above, the salesman must be feeling sad that he agreed to such a low price. Maybe his commission and bonus are gone with the low price. There are high chances that the boss will criticize him when he goes back. He has given up so much to a customer with no gratitude. But why?

The Pitfall of Accepting the First Offer

Well, because he constantly accepted a lower offer from the supplier, he was forced to a dead end by the supplier. Never accept the first offer proposed by the supplier. It also requires that the supplier propose first.

Mastering Bargaining in Foreign Trade

If foreign customers want to source products from China, they will always encounter bargaining and communication problems. This is because of the different languages and cultures. So, how can you communicate smoothly with suppliers and talk the price to what is acceptable?

In this regard, you can seek the help of Ningqu with ten years of purchasing experience in China. We have a professional purchasing staff that can help you all the way. First, we carefully select several suppliers with strength and trust. The purchasing staff will then tell the suppliers the full and detailed requirements. The supplier then sends a quotation. We then send our purchasing staff that uses their negotiation skills to give you the lowest price.

Comprehensive Sourcing Services

Finally, we will tell the customer the details of the supplier’s quotation, factory strength, and much more. Ningqu purchasing staff will then give their views to the customer and advise them objectively so that they can make the best purchase decision. In addition to finding services such as suppliers and bargaining, Ningqu Sourcing can help with any other sourcing needs.

Our Services

  • Delivering
  • Taking photos
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • And much more.

You can contact our customer service staff by email at [email protected] or online chat. Ningqu Sourcing will solve your problems with rich experience and professional attitude.


In the world of foreign trade, mastering bargaining skills is not just an option; it’s a necessity. With the right negotiation tactics, you can achieve the best deals and build strong, lasting relationships with suppliers. Remember, it’s not just about getting a lower price; it’s about creating a win-win situation for both parties.

Product Enquiry