10 No Nonsense Strategies for Haggling At Your Favorite Stores


It doesn’t always work, but you should know that you have the absolute power to haggle with the salespersons at your favorite shops anytime you want. You can do it. You just have to know how. Most people are happy to allow you to haggle, and they’re even happier to lower the price for you if it means that you walk away with a new item and them with their commission. So how do you go about doing something of this nature? You have to know what to expect, what’s going on around you and precisely how to get what you want. Going in blind is not going to do you any favors. Instead, you have to follow these 10 foolproof tips to ensure you get precisely what you want when you’re haggling at your favorite shop the next time you go shopping.

Research the Item

You probably already know what it is you want to purchase, so go ahead and do your research. Find out all you can about the item, including other places you can make a similar purchase. You’re going to need this information if you think that you can haggle with a sales associate. Good luck.

Don’t Say Anything Right Away

The key is to keep yourself busy for a while and say nothing about haggling. Look at the product. Look around. Do some shopping. Talk on the phone. Do whatever you can to make you look as if you’re not all that interested in what it is you are actually interested in. Your goal is to give the impression you’re just not all that interested in what you’re doing.

Keep your Budget to Yourself

Never discuss your budget when haggling. Do you let the salesperson know how much you can spend. And never start your price at what you want to spend. Instead, drop the price you want to pay by a significant amount so that when the shop counters your offer, they do so with another offer that’s higher, but closer to what you were actually expecting to pay in the first place. Starting where you want to finish is a rookie mistake.  Let the price go up from there. Worst case scenario, you pay what you wanted to pay in the first place. Best case, you get an even bigger discount on what you’re looking for.

Let Your Inhibitions Go

Don’t worry about what the salesperson thinks. Go ahead and ask for a discount and play the game. Don’t worry that they think you’re being cheap or ridiculous. Chances are good you’re never seeing these people again, anyway, so it doesn’t actually matter what they think in the grand scheme of things. Go ahead and start negotiating with your inhibitions out the window.

Get to Know the Salesperson a Bit

Before you bust out with your negotiations, go ahead and build a bit of a rapport with the salesperson. Get to know him or her a bit. Be nice, ask for a name. Talk a bit. Get this person to like you so that they’re more willing to help you when the time comes. Go ahead; you can do it. Now that you’re friends, it’s time to start the process of haggling for something you really want.

Ask for a Discount

Just ask. Tell the salesperson you do like the object at hand, and that you’re happy to pay this much for it. Start low. Remember, you want to haggle, and they’re going to go up. And if they go up, it can’t be past your budget. So keep your budget to yourself and start under what you’re really expecting to – or wanting to – pay. You have to ask if you want to get an answer, after all.

Argue Without Attitude

You can argue your point, but you have to be respectful and kind about it. You cannot be rude or condescending. This is not going to get you want you want, and it’s not going to make you look very good. A salesperson who feels that you are respectful and behaving like a kind person is going to treat you with more respect. This might mean offering you things you weren’t expecting if they cannot come down on the price a big. Go ahead and argue your point, just remember to be very respectful and kind about it or you are going to regret your actions.

Have a Contingency Plan

If you can’t get the discount you want, have a contingency plan. What does this mean? This means having a plan that will allow you to get other things you might want in place of the discount. For example, if you’re haggling over the price of a couch and chairs, offer to forgo the discount if the store throws in the rug and the lamps that go along with the set. It can’t hurt to have a backup plan.

Know about the Competition

Something that will help you in your attempts at haggling is knowing the competition. For example, do you know that another store has the same item for less or close to the same price? If so, go ahead and ask the salesperson to consider the fact that you can make the purchase here or you can walk away and make it somewhere else; somewhere that someone is willing to work with you a bit more at getting what it is you want at a price you can afford. The salesperson might not want to lose the sale to someone at a different store, and this might motivate him or her to work a little harder to provide you what you want.

Walk Away

If you have to walk away, walk away. Sometimes this is precisely what works most at getting people to give you what you want. Start by having a plan. Tell the salesperson that you have to go pick up your kids from school. Then walk out. Chances are good that the salesperson is going to get your contact information and give you a call with an offer you cannot refuse. They are just not willing to lose their commission.

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images


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