Haggling strategies to get the best price for stuff are of interest to many people, especially in this time when frivolous spending can be disastrous to one’s budget. To haggle is to negotiate a price with a seller, and while it is a common act in other countries, it’s not done so much in America since many merchants are not in charge of the prices of the things they sell. There’s a right way and a wrong way to haggle, and if you follow the haggling strategies below, you’ll have a better chance of getting coveted items at lower prices without making merchants fantasize about your slow and painful death.
- Don’t be entitled. Nobody deserves a discount on anything, so don’t be a prick to someone if they reject your demand or request for a markdown. This is the most important thing you can know about price-bickering. Be polite; after all, you’re asking someone to be paid less just for you.
- No haggling at chain stores. It’s imperative that you learn about where you can price-dispute. Retail outlets have their prices set by corporations, so screaming at a clerk to give you a few bucks off for two hours will do nothing but waste your time and the clerk’s time. It’s okay to ask if someone is willing to give a price cut, but if not, don’t keep asking. A lot of articles on haggling suggest price-squabbling at retail stores with the assumption that a manager will give you the discount to shut you up or get you out of the store. Don’t do this, seriously. You’ll look like a complete tool. Clerks only refrain from punching you to keep their jobs.
- Know where to haggle. You know where not to be a cheapskate, but you also should know where it’s acceptable to request a compromise. Try the haggling strategies listed in the next few steps at flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, eBay (only on the “Buy It Now Or Best Offer” auctions, or when buying lots of stuff from one seller), Craigslist, price-matching stores, car dealerships, real estate deals and convention dealer’s rooms on the last day.
- Damaged goods. Sometimes you can get a discount on items in imperfect condition. Usually this happens with second-hand stuff or floor models, and many times, sellers are willing to give a reduction because the item in question may not sell otherwise. However, do not be a prick and intentionally break stuff just for a discount. That’s not haggling – that’s destruction of store goods, and doing it makes you deserve to have your eyes eaten by a hyena.
- Ask low, but not too low. Don’t ask if you can buy a 600-dollar television for 50 dollars; be fair with your price appeal. If the vendor is willing to haggle, increase your price slightly maybe three times, but if the seller makes it clear they will not budge, then either buy it at their price or don’t buy it at all. If you’re not a jerk about it, sometimes you and the seller can find a good middle ground where you can save a couple bucks and they can make a sale. Work on finding that balance, and don’t ask for more than a 10 percent discount. Conversely, don’t ask how low the seller is willing to reduce the price.
- Poker face. This doesn’t just apply to cards, either. Work on keeping a straight face throughout the process of haggling. As with poker, losing your cool and getting noticeably excited can cause you to forfeit any possible wins.
- Can’t win them all. Be sensible and know that some things are not negotiable. An article on PubMed describes people who are haggling over medical bills with their doctors by paying up-front or just not paying at all for a few months. This is just plain bloody stupid. Again, asking never hurts, but ignoring your bills can lead to lovely little phone calls from collection agencies and possibly having your credit ruined. Be smart about being cheap; haggling strategies have no place in paying the people you entrust with your health.