Retailers’ Secret: More Are Willing to Meet or Even Beat a Competitor’s Price

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Some retailers have generous policies that aren't advertised, meaning more than ever that it's smart to ask for a discount.

With Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to save a few bucks on last-minute shopping. And what better way to do so than haggling.

More than you realize, retailers are willing to drop the price for you. Some have price-matching or price-surpassing policies that you don’t even know about.

In the past, bargaining for the best possible deal on almost anything you can think of may have been frowned upon. However, times have changed and “many retailers, desperate for sales and customer loyalty, have begun training their employees in the art of bargaining with customers,” reports The New York Times.

Meanwhile, savvy consumers have implemented price-tracking tools on smartphones and other electronic devices into their shopping regimen to facilitate the process, says CBS New York. Equipped with the most competitive prices in hand, they are heading over to their favorite retailer in hopes of retrieving the items on their list at a much lower rate than what is indicated on the price tag.

DealScience, a website that analyzes the best online deals from a variety of retailers, revealed that 20 percent or more of major retailers have price-matching policies, although customers may not know because they’re not always advertised, the Times said.

Beyond price-matching, haggling gets even better at some retail outlets. The Times reports that “at least a half-dozen merchants — including some of the original haggling stages like Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s — now let managers go a step better and offer 10 percent below a competitor’s price.”

Wondering how you can partake in the festivities? Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson did this video several years ago but the advice still applies.

Consumer Reports offers the following advice:

  • Plead your case, and state why the seller should offer you a discount.
  • Do your homework in advance to determine a fair price.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away if the seller doesn’t agree to your terms.
  • Remain calm during negotiations.
  • Request that a discount be granted if you are paying with cash.

Also, be sure to take a look at our tips on haggling.

Though your initial offer may not be accepted, many retailers are prepared to cut you some slack. “Instead of price discounts, those deals may be add-ons, like an extended warranty, free delivery or free installation,” Alison Kenny Paul, vice chair of Deloitte, told the Times.

Have you ever haggled to save money? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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