But this idea of making a mistake works too.
A salesman will, for example, know that $10,000 is a fair trade-in offer for a vehicle.
He or she agrees to $14,000 for the trade-in, but at some point during the paperwork, a mistake is found.
The salesman will come back and say that their manager will only let them do $10,000 on the trade-in.
But then the hook is already in.
They are betting that you have committed to buy – and will follow up on that commitment.
Understand: Commitment can be a powerful thing.
No matter which variety of lowballing is used, the sequence is the same: An advantage is offered that induces a favorable purchase decision; then, sometime after the decision has been made but before the bargain is sealed, the original purchase advantage is deftly removed. It seems almost incredible that a customer would buy a car under these circumstances. Yet it works—not on everybody, of course, but it is effective enough to be a staple compliance procedure in many, many car showrooms. Automobile dealers have come to understand the ability of a personal commitment to build its own support system, a support system of new justifications for the commitment.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence