As they say, you’ll never receive what you don’t ask for. A “Consumer Reports” study from 2013 stated that only 48% of customers ask for a reduced price on items that they regularly purchase, even though 89% of the negotiators said they received a better deal at least once. Many people are unaware that can bargain on everyday items, and are fearful that it’s not their place to ask for a reduced price. They’re also often self-conscious about their bargaining etiquette (or lack thereof), or just assume they’ll get turned down. “Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals,” author Ed Brodow, said bargaining is actually intimidating to many people: “people are either afraid to ask for a better deal or are convinced it can’t happen. They become their own worst enemy if they don’t try. You have to have the ‘negotiation consciousness’, [the willingness] to challenge everything, be assertive and say, ‘This is too much,’ or ‘This is not reasonable,’ or ‘Can you help me out?,’” he said. Well, the first step in this process is understanding what items are actually negotiable. Check out this list of items so that you can save money next time around.
Appliances And Electronics
A great way to save some cash on expensive electronics and appliances is by asking about previous returns, overstock goods, and floor models. The owner and founder of Rather-be-shopping.com, Kyle James, says that stores are often trying to get rid of extra items that aren’t selling in the store. “Store managers typically want them sold immediately, so they don’t take up valuable real estate,” James says. “These items will typically be marked with a special tag. Start the negotiating at 20% off the asking price and be prepared to meet in the middle,” he adds. You can also ask them to include free delivery or a warranty. It can’t hurt to ask, right?
A good credit score can go a lot further than just helping your rating and history. Priyanka Prakash, a finance expert for FitBiz Loans, says that it’s crucial to have a good score for multiple reasons: “If you’ve made late payments or have a bad credit score, you’re more of a credit risk, so the lender may not lower the rate.” Alternatively, a high score can help you tremendously in the long run.
When deciding to borrow money, it’s important to consider what type to choose. Compared to other types of debt, regulated loans or credit are more difficult to negotiate. Prakash added that credit card rates are easier to bargain, but student loans are more challenging since the federal government regulates them. Loans that are somewhat difficult to bargain are business loans, automobile loans, and home loans. She recommends telling your credit card company that you found another issuer who offered a zero percent balance-transfer. If you can have the quote in writing, it will raise your chances of getting the deal.
If you’re looking for a discount on meat, go for the hams and roasts that are under a pound, said James. “In particular, look for hams and roasts that are less than a pound in size and politely ask for a discount,” he said. Since they could potentially be too small to sell or slice, it’s worth asking if you can get them for a lower price. They’re often willing to listen to your proposal. “Start by asking for 50% off and negotiate from there.” Meats that are reaching their expiration date are also negotiable since the store will throw them away anyway, said James. If you can, buy a lot at once and you can always save it in the freezer.
Don’t let expensive moving costs discourage you from moving. Most people are unaware they’re able to barter when it comes to negotiating moving services. Each moving company has a different way of coming up with their quotes, according to Jacob Beckstead, the marketing manager at Bailey’s Moving & Storage. “Moving and storage services can often be negotiated in order to fit your particular budget—especially on such a major purchase,” he says. “Even the major carriers with more scientific approaches wouldn’t want to lose a sale over five percent,” he recommended. He also suggests trying to negotiate the cost of packing, boxes, and loading rates.
Surprisingly to many, medical bills are actually negotiable. First of all, you should always check your bill to ensure that you’re being charged correctly. Second of all, a lot of patients simply never pay their medical bills at all, so companies would rather receive some amount than nothing at all. For example, Brodow received a medical bill of $1,800, but once he explained that his insurance wouldn’t cover it and that he was elderly, they lowered it to $500. It’s also important to note that you should be especially kind to service representatives when bargaining. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator: 50 Ways to Create Win-Win Results by Understanding the Pitfalls to Avoid,” says that companies are more inclined to be flexible if you’re cooperative and polite since they’re accustomed to handling rude and impatient customers regularly. She suggests beginning the conversation with “Is there any reason you can’t delay sending this to collections for a month so I can work on getting it paid?” If you approach the situation with a positive attitude, the rep is more likely to sympathize and try to find a solution for you.