7 Ways to Master the Art of Haggling

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

In this economy, why would you want to pay full retail? For anything? Learn how to score some freebies on dozens of items, even if you can't actually lower the price.

The following post comes from Joanne Guidoccio at partner site The Dollar Stretcher.

In my younger days, I cringed whenever I shopped with my mother. She didn’t like to pay the set price and believed that haggling was always worth a try.

At the shoe store, she asked the salesperson to throw in shoe polish or a shoe horn. At the furniture and appliance stores, she asked the manager to hold the tax or provide free delivery. If all else failed, she’d ask for free sofa pillows or any other item that caught her attention.

When I moved into my first apartment, she helped me shop for furniture. She went directly to the sales manager and persuaded him to give me a discount, free delivery, six months of no-interest payments – and free sofa pillows.

The economic tsunami of 2008 has changed many of our attitudes about money. As a result, haggling is becoming an essential skill in today’s economy. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, you can master the art of haggling. Consider the following tips…

  1. Do your research. Before you can haggle successfully, know how much the item should reasonably cost. Visit a few competitive stores online or in person and note the prices. If a particular model interests you, find out how long it has been sitting on the floor or lot. This will give you a definite edge when haggling.
  2. Set your price. Know exactly how high you’re willing to go before you get into a discussion with a salesperson. Be prepared to say, “I’ll think about it” and walk away. Very few salespeople will let a customer walk away without making at least one counteroffer.
  3. Pick your time. Consider going into a store just before closing time. Most salespeople are anxious to leave and may agree to a lower price. If you are shopping for a car, appliance, furniture, electronics, or jewelry, shop at the end of the month. Most commission-based salespeople have a monthly quota to meet and are often scrambling to make sales at this time. Whenever possible, travel off-season or mid-week. You are more likely to get discounts for hotels, bed and breakfasts, and car rentals at that time. During low season, ask the hotel manager to throw in a free room upgrade, free breakfast, or late checkout time. (Learn more about hotel haggling at 8 Tips to Save at Any Hotel.)
  4. Look for flaws. If you’re willing to accept lipstick stains, scratches, rips, and other imperfections, you can get at least a 10-percent discount. If you are buying a store-display or demonstration model, ask for a discount. Keep in mind that taking a discount often makes the item a final sale.
  5. Be ready to pay cash. Even though credit and debit cards are handy, some merchants will give you a discount if you’re willing to pay cash.
  6. Act as if you are not interested in the product. If salespeople know you desperately want something, they’re not likely to lower the price.
  7. Be courteous at all times. Salespeople won’t respond well to rude or aggressive behavior. Smile and control your facial expressions and gestures. Maintain an appropriate distance when speaking with salespeople. Regardless of the outcome, thank the salesperson for his or her time.

Haggling should be fun – it’s not a life-or-death event, after all. The worst that happens is your offer is rejected and you walk away from the purchase. But, if you make it a game, you’re much more likely to find a smiling dance partner on the other side of the negotiation.

Originally in The Dollar Stretcher. Follow TDS on Twitter. Do you haggle? Tell them all about it.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 5 Expenses That Vanish During Retirement

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,669 more deals!