Negotiating an Equipment Purchase

Unless you're in the position of having had a vendor immediately agree to sell you the specific equipment you want for the price you're willing to pay, you're going to have to negotiate. If you've gone through the initial exercise of determining what you want and need and what you're willing to pay for the equipment and its various features, you'll have a head start on the process. This is because you'll have an idea as to which features or conditions are most important to you and which you may be willing to concede to reach an acceptable compromise. At the very least, establish in your mind what your minimum requirements are, and be prepared to walk away if you're not comfortable that the deal being offered will meet your needs.

As you proceed to negotiate your best deal, try to be fair and cordial. Keep in mind that your vendor also is a businessperson who must turn a profit to survive. Especially if you expect to have future dealings with the vendor, whether in connection with your use or the servicing of the equipment or with future purchases, you don't want to push so hard that you end up souring your business relationship.

Even if a vendor starts with an offer that sounds acceptable, you won't lose anything by at least trying for an improvement in price or terms. Given that most everything in business is negotiable to some degree, simply inquiring whether the offer is the best the vendor can do may lead to some pleasantly surprising results.