Saturday, August 6, 2011

Just Ask!

In an article written by Tod Marks from the August 2011 Money Adviser Consumer Reports, he states the next time you're ready to make a major purchase, look the sales clerk in the eye and calmly pose the question, "Is this the best you can do?"  If you want to pay less than the posted price, you have to ask. 

Yet year after year, the Consumer Reports National Research Center finds that most shoppers are reluctant to haggle.  Sure, there's a chance the clerk might not budge.  But they've found that shoppers who do try have at least a 50-50 chance of success haggling for things as diverse as computers, mattresses, and hotel stays.

According to a December 2011 survey, online shoppers for electronics were just as successful at haggling as customers in the store.  So if you're shy or embarrassed about bargaining in person, you have other options.

A few tips to better haggle:
1. Know before you go.  Research prices and store policies, and have evidence of better deals from newspapers or websites at the ready
2. Find fixable flaws.  If a product has blemishes, ask the seller for a discount.
3. Avoid an audience. Merchants don't want everyone asking for the same deal.
4. Ask a manager. Sales clerks might not have the authority to give you a discount.
5. Offer a pay cash. Retailers are charged transaction fees by credit-card companies.
6. Be nice. Demanding a discount rarely works.


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