Adjust Text Size

How to Haggle

Written by Nickel - 4 Comments

As a followup to this week’s article about negotiating to reduce your bills, I wanted to point out an interesting piece on haggling when shopping. As awkward as you might feel asking for a discount, especially if you’re doing it in person as opposed to over the phone, those that are willing to haggle can save a good bit of money.

I won’t recap the entire story here, but I did want to highlight a few salient points. First and foremost, the article underscored the importance of practice. The more you do it, the easier (and more effective) it gets.

They also pointed out the importance of only haggling with people that are empowered to adjust the price. In other words, don’t waste your time bugging the cashier in a big box discount store. Instead, focus your efforts on sales associates, department managers, etc.

In addition, they listed situations in which haggling is especially likely to pay off. These included:

  • Renting hotel rooms
  • Making bulk purchases
  • Buying big-ticket items
  • Buying anything marked down or damaged
  • Buying floor models
  • Buying used items
  • Buying open packages

Personal haggling success

I’ve had a reasonable amount of success with haggling in everyday life, though I typically only do it when I have a good justification*. For example, I once drove across town to buy a dehumidifier that was supposedly in stock. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the store, they couldn’t find it. Instead of leaving empty-handed, I asked for a discount on the next better model, and they agreed.

I’ve also had pretty good success getting stores to sweeten the deal when making a major purchase (e.g., free delivery or accessories when purchasing an appliance). I’ve also had good luck getter retailers to not only match, but beat their competitor’s prices. Of course, you can often do even better by going online and skipping the haggling altogether.

What about you?

Do you haggle when shopping? If so, under what circumstances? And how much success have you had? If not, why not?

*Note: I’m ignoring here those situations in which you’re expected to haggle, such as when buying a house or a car. It should go without saying that I negotiate as hard as I can under such circumstances.

Via: Consumerism Commentary

Published on May 1st, 2009
Modified on April 29th, 2009 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Frugality

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Related articles...

» How to Haggle: More Tips on Haggling
» When to Haggle
» Haggle? Yes, an Amateur Can Do It
» Buying a Foreclosed Home
» Weekly Roundup: Geocaching Edition
» How to Ask for Discounts
» Coupons are a Waste?
» Seven Ways to Make Big Bucks at Your Garage Sale

Was this article useful? Please sign up to receive our content via e-mail:

You will receive only the daily updates, and can unsubscribe at anytime.

4 Responses to “How to Haggle”

  1. 1
    Kyle Says:

    I am not a very good haggler, I have tried to recently with getting some termite prevention at my house which was relatively successful so I definitely am looking at increasing my haggling in the future.

  2. 2
    Phinance Says:

    Not meant to be sexist at all, so I apologize if that’s the case, but it seems like all of my female friends and family members are much better at haggling than the men I know. It seems to be an intrinsic skill. For instance, when I go to the barber and they have a price set, I pay the price. My gf however, would note that the barber has no customers and effectively gets me a lower rate! It’s pretty amazing, but I could never do it. The closest I’ve come to haggling is asking for a better room a Vegas, which I got for being nice. It seems in this economy haggling can be had anywhere that doesn’t have a corporate office setting prices.

  3. 3
    Jeremiah Bell (Digital Trainer) Says:

    You know, I never used to be very good at haggling. I would always get nervous and back off. So, to improve, I decided that I would practice at local farmers markets where I could just walk away and buy apples at the next cart over.

    This way, I had very limited pressure to purchase, especially if it was something I could easily get elsewhere. I found this greatly improved by haggling skills for cars, floor items, etc.

  4. 4
    bob hammer Says:

    I HAVE A RETAIL BUSINESS SELLING STORE FIXTURES USED & NEW TO OTHER BUSINESS PEOPLE GOING INTO BUSINESS. ABOUT ONE YEAR AGO I POSTED A SIGN OVER THE CASH REGISTER THAT SAYS HAGGLERS BEWARE WE RAISE THE PRICE FOR HAGGLERS NOT LOWER SAME, REASON AGGRAVATION, IF YOU WANT TO HAGGLE PLEASE VISIT OUR FRIENDLY COMPETITORS THEY WOULD LOVE TO HAGGLE WITH YOU! I DIDN’T MENTION THAT THE CLOSEST COMPETITOR IS 75 MILES AWAY. I HAVE ON OCCASION THROWN CUSTOMERS OUT & ASKED THAT THEY NEVER RETURN EVER EVER AGAIN.

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer...
Because rates and offers from advertisers shown on this website change frequently, please visit referenced sites for current information. This website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise.

FiveCentNickel User Survey