Every year, I run a semester-long Master Negotiator Contest in each of my negotiations sections. Students compete in teams and perform real-life negotiations to obtain the title of Master Negotiators. The purpose of the contest is to motivate students to go out in the world and negotiate better deals for themselves.

Description & Rules

All negotiations are vetted by my TA, based on chat logs, contracts and receipts. In case of a disagreement with my TA, the ultimate decision is determined by a class vote. Teams can win one or both of two categories:

Return on Negotiations

For each negotiation, the return reflects the additional value the team obtained thanks to their negotiation skills.

  • For purchases, the return is calculated as the initial price minus the final negotiated price.
  • For sales, the return is calculated as the negotiated price minus the average market price.

Given the variety of students’ backgrounds, returns are capped to $500 per negotiation. Any long-term deal (e.g. salary increase) is pro-rated to three months.

Negotiation Count

Negotiation count reflects the total number of valid negotiations recorded by each team throughout the semester.

Aggregated Numbers

Over the past years, my students have performed hundreds of real-life negotiations involving money, for a total return of tens of thousands of dollars.