Feeling the financial pinch? We may live in a (mostly) fixed-price society, but that doesn't mean that you need to pay sticker price for every single purchase. Learning how and when to bring out the big bargaining skills can save you major moolah. Read on for five basics.
1. All prices are negotiable — Welcome to a whole new world of buying! It's probably not worth your time to haggle a 29 cent banana down to an even quarter, but when you're in the market for big ticket home items that you can almost afford, it's so worth it to give bargaining a shot. Remember, most businesses would rather sell something with a slight discount than nothing at all.
2. Be polite — No one wants to do business with an inflexible jerk or someone who feels entitled to get their way no matter what. Bargaining is all about finding common ground — the sweet spot where you can both leave happy.
3. Loyalty counts — If you're a regular customer, your chances of scoring a discount increase exponentially. After all, it's worth the seller's while to keep you happy and spending your dollars in their establishment.
4. Buy in bulk — Spending more at once will also increase the chances that the seller will be open to discussing a discount. Try saying something like, "I'd love to furnish my whole living room today. Would you be able to give me 10% off my total if I buy these three pieces?" Then smile!
5. Snap up the floor model — There are certain costs to doing business, and they include sacrificing one item for people to try before they buy. The floor model may be well-loved or it may be practically pristine. Either way, the store can't sell it at full price. Asking to see floor models from previous collections could get you significant savings (up to 50%) and help the store clear out valuable storage space. Win win! Expect minor wear and tear, but remember to carefully check your score for any major damage because a floor model sale is almost never returnable.
At the end of the day, it's about getting the best you can with the money you have (and not blowing that budget), so take a risk and ask away. You have nothing to lose.
(Image credits: Flickr user The Royal Library, Denmark licensed under Creative Commons)