February 1, 2014

4 Ways to Haggle Like a Pro

Read more about How to Haggle

When you're planning a major purchase, it pays to try and save as much money as you can. Sometimes it's as simple as shopping around for the lowest price. But there may be times when you'll have to do a little negotiating to get the bargain you want. Whether you're buying a big screen TV or making the leap into home ownership, here are a few tips to help you haggle your way to the best deal possible.

1. Know Your Limit

A surefire way to sabotage your negotiations is by not having a firm limit when it comes to how much you want to spend. Before you start trying to talk down a salesperson, you need to know exactly how much you're willing to fork over for whatever it is you're trying to buy. If all you have is a vague number in mind, you may find yourself saying yes to something that's more than you wanted to spend.

When it comes to a big ticket item, like buying a new home or car, having a set range of prices may give you a better shot at getting the deal you want. The lowest figure could be the amount that you think would be a once-in-a-lifetime deal; the middle number could represent what you're reasonably willing to pay; and the highest number could be the absolute max you would consider. As long as you're working within the range and don't go over your max price, you won't have to worry about overspending.

2. Do Your Homework

Before you set foot in a store, visit a car lot or research online, you need to take the time to do some price comparisons on what it is you're planning to buy. For example, if you're in the market for a new home and you're interested in a specific neighborhood, you need to know what the other houses in the area are going for. This gives you an advantage when you're ready to make an offer.

If you're shopping for something that's smaller but still pricey, like appliances, it's easy to compare prices from major retailers online. You should also check to see what each store's policy is when it comes to price matching and take along a copy of the competitor's ad when you're ready to buy. When you're haggling with the salesperson, ask if they can beat the competitor's price, rather than just matching it. If they say no or seem unsure, ask to speak to a manager to try and squeeze out some extra savings.

3. Be Willing to Walk Away

One of the most important things to remember when you're trying to haggle is to not be afraid to walk away at any time. If you've already spent a significant amount of time negotiating with the salesperson, they may be more willing to try and close the deal if they see that you're not willing to budge. The key is to make sure that you don't let yourself get too attached to whatever it is you're trying to haggle down.

If you threaten to walk away and the salesperson doesn't waver, resist the urge to give in and pay what they're asking. Let them know that you're not willing to go over your max price and you're going to keep looking. Leave your contact information and tell them that if they can come up with a better price or the item goes on sale, to give you a call. Keeping the door open may be enough to persuade the salesperson to change their mind.

4. Remember the Three P's

Haggling is not for the faint of heart and you have to be firm but not overly aggressive. Being rude or demanding won't make you popular with salespeople, and it's the easiest way to shoot down the negotiation process before it even gets started. When you're trying to negotiate, you need to remember the Three P's: be patient, be persistent, and be polite.

Politely make it clear what it is you're willing to pay and listen to what the salesperson has to say. If you feel like you're getting the run around, ask if there's someone else who can help you. Don't try to rush the negotiation process and don't take no for an answer. If things aren't going your way, then simply move on.

Haggling can be intimidating, especially if you haven't done it before, but it's a great tactic to use if you're trying to save money. The key is to know what you want and to not be afraid to ask for it.

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