Colin needs a car and negotiates with Tom to buy his car. Tom offers to sell his car to Colin for $10, 000. Colin searches Craigslist and finds a similar car to which he attributes a value of 7,500 dollars. Colin`s BATNA costs $7,500 — if Tom doesn`t offer a price of less than $7,500, Colin will consider his best alternative to a negotiated contract. Colin is willing to pay up to 7,500 $US for the car, but ideally he would only pay $5,000. The relevant information is presented below: your BATNA “is the only standard that can protect you both from accepting unfavorable terms and from rejecting conditions that would be in your best interest.” [2] In the simplest sense, if the proposed agreement is better than your BATNA, then you should accept it. If the agreement is no better than your BATNA, then you should resume negotiations. If you are unable to improve the agreement, you should at least consider withdrawing from the negotiations and following your alternative (although the costs are also taken into account). Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess have slightly adapted the BATNA concept to emphasize what they call “EATNAs” – popular alternatives to a negotiated agreement” instead of “better alternatives.” Although the parties to the dispute do not have good options outside of negotiations, they often think they do. (For example, both sides believe that they can impose themselves in court or in the military struggle, even if some of them are significantly weaker or if the relative forces are so balanced that the outcome is very uncertain.) But the decision whether or not to accept an agreement depends on perception. If a contestant thinks he or she has a better option, she will follow this option very often, even if she is not as good as she thinks. When balancing these different alternatives to see what is “best,” community members need to consider a number of factors.

Third parties can help thinkers accurately evaluate their BATNas through reality tests and calculations. During the reality tests, the third party helps to clarify and welcome each party`s alternatives to the agreement. If/he can do so by asking difficult questions about BATNA`s claim: “How could you do that? What would be the result? What would the other side do? How do you know? Or the third party can simply insert new information into the discussion… that the assessment of BATNA by a page is probably wrong. The calculation is a more general approach to the same process… it is a systematic attempt to determine the costs and benefits of all options. In this way, the parties will understand all their alternatives. If this is done together and the parties agree on the evaluation, it will provide a solid basis for finding a negotiated solution better than the alternatives of both parties.

But if the parties fail to reach such an agreement, negotiations will collapse and both sides will continue their BATNA instead of a negotiating outcome.