Learn to Bargain

Most people get a little shy when it comes to bargaining for a good price on something. Those that are good at it get great deals on everything and save tons of money in the process. There are benefits to learning how to bargain.

Society seems to give the idea that it isn't nice to negotiate. It feels like asking for a lower price says that you can't afford to pay the full price. Or that you are being rude. Many people think that you can ask for a lower price at a garage sell, flea market or car lot, but not anywhere else.

Bargaining is a great way to get a good price. Prices are always up for negotiation. That's why they are often called the "suggested retail price".

Whenever you purchase an item from a store or a service from a business, you are entering into a business transaction. You have the right to negotiate for the best terms when it comes to how much you pay. If the sales price isn't acceptable to you, you can try to change the terms by bargaining.

First, you must be prepared to lose, which you will do a lot. Keep your attitude polite and friendly. Remember, you want someone to do something for you. You have to be nice.

You probably won't be able to walk into a department store and get 50% off on a new camcorder. But if you find one you like that has a minor flaw, such as a scratch, you should ask to talk with the manager about the pricing.

You'll find that most locally owned stores will bargain with you if you are polite and reasonable. Don't automatically ask for 50% off, but if you ask for a 15% or 20% discount on a damaged item, you will probably succeed. Use your status as a senior citizen, student or organizational member to receive a discount.

If you are buying more than one large item from a store, ask for a discount based on buying multiple products. When I purchased a new stove, fridge and dishwasher for my kitchen, I requested a discount and received it. It helped that I am a good customer that buys all of my appliances through the store in question.

When you wish to bargain with a manager or store owner, be discreet. The person in charge doesn't want to advertise the deal. Be polite, charming and honest. Don't try to bargain when a store is busy. Wait until business is slow and sales people are looking to make a sale. Ask for a discount for paying in cash. Cash can talk quite loudly. Look for merchandise that has been in the store for a while. I've purchased floor displays for up to 40% off.

Look for items without price tags. If it isn't marked, feel free to make an offer. Look over items carefully for damage or flaws. Make sure that items you purchase have cosmetic flaws only. For example, a scratch on the side of a refrigerator could be hidden against the wall of your kitchen. No one would ever know.

You won't always find people willing to bargain with you. If they don't seem open, don't waste your time. You can always try again somewhere else.