Coupon Sherpa Blog

8 Tips to Negotiating a Better Price

In some countries, haggling over purchase isn't just a matter of saving money: It's a form of entertainment. In fact, vendors expect a bit of negotiating so they purposely set their prices high to begin with.

Meanwhile, Americans who willingly haggle over the price of a car or house never consider negotiating a reduced price on other items.

In these days of rapidly spiraling inflation, negotiating the best possible price may well be worth your time and effort, even if you feel a bit uncomfortable at first. However, it's important to consider whether the amount of time you invest in negotiating is worth any monetary savings. It may not be worth haggling over the price of your morning cup of coffee, but saving big bucks on a car is definitely worth the effort.

Coupon Sherpa suggests reviewing the following eight tips before beginning to haggle.

1. Ignore the price tag. It bears little relation to the real value of the product or service and simply represents what the business owner wants you to pay.

2. Research true market value: Do some research before you buy. A few minutes surfing the Internet will provide a frame of reference. While you're there, compare the quality of various brands.

3. Decide on your price: The discount you ask for should depend on the type of product, how many are available and how soon you you need it. The more available a product is and the more flexible you're willing to be, the better the opportunity for negotiation.

4. Average discounts: 10 percent is a good discount on such manufactured items as electronics or cars and 20 percent is excellent. You might go for an additional 10 percent on household goods like appliances and flooring. Your best discounts are possible on such services as plumbing, lawn care and cable; sometimes as high as 40 percent. Be prepared, however, to pay cash, bundle services and agree to a long-term contract.

5. Haggling isn't rude: Americans tend to have an aversion to bargaining over purchases. No special skills are required, but experience will make you more comfortable with the process.

6. All prices are negotiable: You won't always get the price you want, but you'll feel more in control of the buying situation. Remember, the seller usually needs your money more than you need their product.

7. You don’t have to buy today: The biggest secret to negotiating is to take your time. If a seller thinks you're willing to walk away from a purchase, they're more likely to drop the price. Sleep on any purchase over $500 to reduce that "must have" impulse and improve your bargaining position. Remember, the only things we absolutely must have are food, water and shelter. All else is negotiable.

8. Be polite: We're all nicer to people we like. Thus, it only stands to reason we're more likely to negotiate with someone we like. A smile and a pleasant demeanor will go a long way to improving your chances of getting a good deal.

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