Haggling is Alive and Well

Learn the Fine Art of Negotiation, Save Hundreds Every Time

Written by Adam English
Posted July 12, 2013

Outsider Tip of the Week

Although more and more consumers are accepting the sticker price as the final price, haggling isn't dead. 

While you won't have much luck with online purchases, you might be surprised by the results of a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center:

haggling survey results

Here are some tips to get better results...

1. Don't be intimidated by a title. A doctor or lawyer worked hard for their title, but they are still running a business. Long-term clients are their bread and butter; a great way to win over new patients or clients is to cut a deal.

2. Be willing to walk away. Don't bluff on this, especially when you know that the product or service is comparable to other options. Know what the competition charges for the same thing, and make a salesperson justify winning your business.

3. Try to read the seller for signs of eagerness to close a deal. This is especially true for big ticket items. Real estate agents and car salesmen, for example, may have a quota to meet or need to boost their commissions to pay the bills. If this is the case, they'll be far more eager to close a deal fast and take a smaller commission.

4. Decide on a fair price in advance. Do your research and make your case for the price you think is fair for an item. If the seller won't budge on the sticker price, look for perks like free delivery or free or enhanced warranties. This works especially well with cars: You might be able to bundle free tune-ups, tire protection, and extended warranties into your purchase price that can save large amounts of money if/when repairs are needed.

5. The silent treatment. If they aren't winning you over, consider not talking much and waiting for them to change the offer. Salesmen want to keep you engaged, otherwise you look like you aren't enticed. That can be a good thing, especially if they aren't budging on their offer, or if there are other places you can go to get the same thing.

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