Learn How to Haggle in 3 Simple Steps


Clipping coupons, looking for deals in fliers, and purchasing discounted used items on the internet can most certainly save you hundreds of dollars. But what can a bargain-hunting consumer do on occasions where no coupons are available, there are no sales, and the item is not sold online? It may not be 100 percent effective, but if you follow the steps just right you might just be able to get a good deal by simply using the power of persuasion.  That's right, the art of haggling might not be your strongest skill or one that you feel comfortable exercising, especially in a department store setting, but if you learn to overcome your fear you may just walk out of the store with a steal.

Before you continue reading however it's important that you always remember that those who do not ask shall not receive. Meaning, it doesn’t hurt to at least try to negotiate a price reduction. The worst answer you can get is a “no” and be forced to pay full price. So many people unfortunately don't even attempt to ask requests for a discount because they are too afraid that it will make them sound like cheapskate or dumb. It's equally important that you remember that as a consumer, it's your right to be able to buy “perfect” products and merchandise. If the item is flawed and the price is not fixed accordingly—for example maybe there is a dent in the can, the packing is ruined, or there is a hole or stain on a piece of fabric, then it's the manager's responsibility to be able to provide adequate customer satisfaction and grant your request. Do not ever pay full price for a damaged good. With that said, to learn how to negotiate a lower price, follow the tips below.

#1 Wear the Proper Attire. First and foremost you never want to dress “flashy.” This doesn't suggest that you have to look like you're homeless, but do refrain from wearing your Sunday's best and displaying all of your fancy watches and rings. In actuality you may very well not be rich, but if you give off the impression that you have some sort of money, employees will quickly reject your request for a discount. After all, it's way too easy for one to think: oh he or she can afford this.

#2 Do Research. If you have your heart set on a particular item, it's extremely important that you do research first and compare prices with other stores. Some stores will simply do price matching and call it a day. But if the unflawed item is sold for the same price everywhere, that doesn't mean that all hope is lost. You can still save money by requesting that additional expenses be taken off, such as delivery fees or installation fees. For example, let’s say you've been having your eye on a certain lap top.  It's relatively the same price everywhere and it's in mint condition. The first step would be to speak to a higher sales rep or a store manager. Start off your conversation by stressing your dedication to the store and that you've been a loyal costumer for “x” amount of years; then stress that if it weren't for the ridiculous added fees you would purchase the item. You may then wait to see what the manager says; he or she may very well make a deal with you. If he or she does not offer a deal, then you can proceed to make a deal with the store manager instead. One of the more better-received bargain techniques is the two-for-one deals. Here you say to the manager that if he or she promises to take off the pesky added fees, you'll promise to buy not one but two items. If it benefits the both of you, the manager just may oblige. If the item you want is out of stock however, another deal you can request is that a similar lap be sold to you for the same price. If this request is denied, again you can use the two-for-one technique. Whatever you request, just make sure that you are not expecting too much—especially for items in mint-condition. The manager may be able to cut you a break in some areas, but don't ask for a ridiculous $300 discount.

#3 Hold Back. Finally it's important that during the negotiation process it never becomes apparent how much you want/need the item.  Don’t say “please, my kid really wants this computer.” The more the store manager knows how much you need/want an item, the more he or she knows won't budge because he or she knows that you'll eventually break and buy it full price. So put on your best poker face. If the store manager denies all negotiations, walk away and see if he or she calls your bluff. But only attempt to bluff if you have already come to the conclusion that you can live without the item—the store manger may just let you walk out the door.

This guest post is contributed by Barbara Jolie, who writes for online classes.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

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