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Make Haggling a Habit Comments

  • By MP Dunleavey
  • May 12, 2010

dw_phone License to bargain
Most people assume that bargaining should be limited to homes, cars and silly tchotchkes you buy on vacation.

Noooooo, say expert hagglers.

When it comes to haggling, everything and anything is fair game—from flat screen TVs to MRIs to your next mani-pedi.

Name your price
According to a 2009 survey, 66% of people said that they'd asked for a better deal at least once in the previous six months—and of those, 88% said they'd scored a discount.

This ABC News article, which follows bargain hunter Teri Gault through several live haggles, illustrates the core secret of a successful haggle:

Ask.

Gault asked for a discount on a $169 stool in a high-end store. The clerk said no; the manager dropped the price by $40. Because... she asked.

And don't stop at the small stuff. In her new book, "Save Big," Good Morning America reporter Elisabeth Leamy found that you can save thousands on big-ticket items, like "junk" closing costs (e.g. document fees) when you buy or sell a home.

Bottom line

  • Do your homework. Every price has a range.
  • Offer to pay cash. It's a strong incentive.
  • Don't assume "No" means no. Ask for a manager.
  • Be nice. The fate of the world isn't at stake.
  • Walk away if you don't get your price.

Tell us how you scored a great deal here.

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