Does haggling really work?

abercrombieDo you ask for better prices? A lot of people don’t try because they believe that prices are non-negotiable. We at elementary-finance decided to explore this question. Should you bother risking a tense and insulting conversation in the hopes of getting the deal of the century?

Turns out that Consumer Reports asked the same question. What they found seems to indicate that going in to haggle mode may be well worth your time. Cars, airfares, cell phone bills, clothing, and jewelry are the best targets. Consumer Reports says that in these categories, it works 80% of the time.

It works with appliances 75% of the time and 71% with electronics and furniture. If you have credit card problems and the fees mount, give your card company a call and 60% of the time all or part of those fees will go away.

Although not bad news, you’re least likely to have any haggling power with your medical bills but still, 50% of the time it will work so no matter what you’re paying for, you have a better than 50% chance that it will work.

How do you do it? As Consumer Reports says, “be patient and be nice.” Bullying your way to a better deal isn’t going to work. Polite persistence is the key to good negotiating.

Every year I read Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to win friends and influence people.” If you have never read this book it is a must read. In it, he stresses that being a people person first starts with having a genuine interest in their well being and when that happens, those things that you are looking to get from them fall in to place.

Of course some real world techniques work as well. Offer to pay cash. It saves the retailer up to 5% so often, they are happy to pass those savings on to you especially if it means moving inventory. Cash is truly king.

So the verdict is: YES!!! It is worth your time to haggle a little bit. Don’t be insulting by making an offensively low offer but if you ask, there is a better than average chance that it will work.

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  1. Becky

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