Consumer Reports surveyed over 2,000 Americans in regards to bargaining for better deals on common consumer goods and services. The survey showed that in the past three years less than 50 percent of shoppers were willing bargain for a better deal. In 2007 the rate of shoppers willing to bargain for a better deal was 61 percent. There were also 35 percent of survey participants who said they would never bargain for a better deal when shopping.
When it comes to the battle of the sexes, men are more likely to bargain than women. There were 20 percent of women who said that haggling made them uncomfortable. When either men or women attempted to bargain, they had the same rate of success. Consumers in the age range between 18 and 29 enjoyed it much more than people who were 60 or older.
There were certain items that people had more success when it came to bargaining for a lower price. People had the most success haggling over the price for collectibles, antiques, appliances and furniture.
Chatting up a salesperson was an effective haggling technique. When it came to antiques and collectibles, people who negotiated the price saved an average of $100.00. When it came to furniture, people who bargained saved $300 on average. Those who negotiated the price of appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers and more saved an average of $200.00. Haggling for a lower price on cell-phone plans saved consumers $80 on average.
Give Sellers a Reason to Negotiate
Loyal customers should remind their merchant or service provider of their repeated business. Offering discounts on products or services is a small price to pay to keep customers coming back.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Retailers are more likely to turn down a customer who asks questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Instead of asking for a specific dollar-amount or percentage off an item, ask what they are willing to offer as a discount.
Decide on a Fair Price
Research the cost of any product before buying. Print out or take screen shots of website pages or written quotes from competitors. Fifty-seven percent of survey respondents told the salesperson they’d check competitors’ prices. Call the store to confirm that it will match a lower price. Ask about a refund of the difference if there’s a price-drop within a reasonable period of time. If a discount on the item is out of the question, ask for free shipping, delivery, or installation.
Seek a Discount for Cash
Offering to pay with paper instead of plastic eliminates transaction fees sellers are required to pay to credit-card companies.
Retailers are likely to offer discounts on products with cosmetic blemishes or slight defects such as clothing with snags, smudges or stains, and appliances or electronics with dings or scratches. It’s generally easier to negotiate such deals with independent stores than with chains and for private-label products than for big brands because sellers can’t return flawed products to their makers for credit.
Be Willing to Walk Away
It’s expensive for stores to attract new customers, so they’re often willing to work hard to retain their existing ones. But consumers who don’t think they’re getting a good deal should go elsewhere and try to negotiate a better bargain.
In a July 10, 2013 press release Tod Marks, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports is quoted as saying “Don’t expect your doctor, bank, or local appliance store to cut you a break simply because you have a nice face and smile. It takes moxie and self-confidence. Having the guts to ask for a discount can result in hundreds of dollars in savings.”
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