Depending on what you’re buying or where you’re shopping, the sticker price isn’t always the final price. Whether you’re shopping at a thrift store, boutique retail shop, or even for a new car or home—a lot of prices are up for negotiation. The following are some tips for haggling and negotiating a better price:
Know the going rate
Before you try to negotiate for a better price, it’s important to know what the item (or similar items) is selling for elsewhere. Do some research online before going, or check competitors’ stores, so that you know what a good, but fair number to start at is. And if you find another store that is offering the exact same product for a lower price, bring evidence with you—whether it’s a newspaper ad, catalog, or a website printout.
Pick the right time to negotiate
Salespeople usually have more time to talk to you when the day is just about over or has just begun. The end of the quarter or the end of the month can also be a good time to strike a deal, as salespeople often have certain quotas they need to make and, as such, may be more willing to lower prices.
If you’re shopping at a retail store, you’ll also want to take the season into consideration, as most stores need to get rid of inventory from the previous season and are often more willing to haggle.
Curb your enthusiasm
By showing the seller just how much you’re in love with the item you want to buy, you lose the upper hand. Express interest in it, of course—but also act like you won’t be at all crushed if you need to walk away from it, either.
Make a tempting offer
If the seller won’t budge on the price, offer something that might change his or her mind—for example, that you’ll pay in cash or that you’ll buy more products if you can receive a discount. With the right incentive, you might be able to score a better deal.