Consumer Reports: Those Who Haggle Save Major Money

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Ask, and you really will receive.

Eighty-nine percent of people who haggled in the past three years were rewarded at least once, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of 2,000 adults.

The average savings varied depending on the good or service, but in every category a majority of hagglers saved $100 or more. On furniture and medical bills, the average savings was $300, the survey found. Medical bills were the category that people were least likely to attempt to negotiate, while furniture was among the most common things to haggle over.

Most of us hate to do it, though. Only 48 percent even tried to negotiate a better deal on everyday goods and services, CR says. In the video below, we explain why haggling is the simplest way to save on everything. Check out how Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson knocked $90 off his cable bills in a 13-minute phone call:

The worst thing that can happen isn’t somebody telling you no; it’s not even trying. CR highlights the stories of a woman who knocked $7,500 off an expected $10,000 cataract surgery by explaining she lacked insurance and a group of neighbors who saved $8,000 on tree removal by banding together and asking for a discount.

We have a lot of advice on how to haggle, and so does CR’s new issue. Here are a few of their tips:

  • Ask open-ended questions, not yes-or-no ones.
  • Use research or expertise to prove you know what you’re talking about.
  • Don’t be rushed or intimidated by a title.

CR also shares which tactics used by consumers in the survey worked best. Announcing you’d check with competitors, actually doing so (and bringing their ads), and making small talk all helped at least 40 percent of hagglers.

Do you have experience with haggling? Share your advice for people who might be a little shy on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • SusanH

    Don’t be afraid to walk out. I’ve had car dealers call me to give me the deal that I want because I walked out of the showroom telling them I was going to go to their competitor.

  • Save On Medical

    Patients come to us all the time asking how they can haggle with health care providers for lower bills. The best thing they can do is research pricing in their are and be aware of the average cost in their region versus what the lowest prices are for a procedure. Private practices, meaning those not associated with hospitals, have much more freedom to give you lower costs too, so keep that in mind when you are looking for places to go, especially if you’re uninsured or in a high-deductible health plan.