This weekend, Denver hosted one of the top five comic cons in the United States. My art gallery set up a booth at the event where we sold Marvel super hero art, animation cels and artwork from the nationally recognized artist Fabio Napoleoni. It was our first time at this particular convention, and I thought it would be a great idea to have a booth in order to meet new clients and give the gallery a bit of extra exposure.
Any time I go to an event such as this one, I have the opportunity to observe other businesses to see how they operate. I’ve found that I learn a great deal from observing and allowing myself the chance to adjust and improve my own tactics in order to become a stronger gallery owner.
Observing other booths reminded me of a tip that I don’t think I’ve shared before. A lot of people don’t realize that no matter the situation, you can always negotiate a price. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a garage sale, an estate sale or a comic convention, prices are negotiable. The way to negotiate, however, is the big secret.
It’s always advisable to observe the seller before you approach them. Take the time to notice the size of the crowd at the location as well as how many people are actually buying. Instead of walking right up and making an offer, if you’ve taken the time to observe the environment, you can negotiate from a position of strength.
For example, from my booth, I observed our neighbors and the traffic at their booths. After just a few minutes, I realized that they did not have a lot of shoppers, and they weren’t selling much. With this knowledge, I would have been able to approach their booth with confidence, knowing that I could offer them a lower price for their items. They clearly were not having much luck, so they would have been more likely to negotiate down to a better price in order to move their product. (Please note that this does not mean you should offer an insultingly low amount. You never want to offend a seller and burn a bridge.) Had I not taken then time to notice their lack of sales, I may have made a much higher offer or else paid their sticker price.
So the next time you go to an event with the intention of buying, take a minute to look around. Don’t rush into an offer. In these types of situations, being the tortoise rather than the hare can often be the better choice.
Good luck and happy hunting!