What Obama Could Learn About Negotiating With Iran From My $2,000 Used Car

Some thoughts on behaviour and emotions from Eyal Winter!


Years ago, less than a week before going on leave from Washington University, I put my car on the market. I had bought the car used for $5,000 a year earlier, but to sell fast I knew I had to be flexible. My asking price was $4,000, but the first serious buyer who got in touch smelled a bargain — he immediately offered $1,000 less than the asking price. Then, in spite of living just a couple of blocks away, he took two days to come and look at the car. “So, when are you leaving?” he asked. “Two days,” I said, giving in to the instinct to tell the truth. The remaining negotiations were short. He got the car for a mere $2,000. The reason that I got such a bad price for my car was that I had been perfectly rational: I knew I couldn’t wait long (and…

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