My anniversary is coming up soon. And I’ve stalked my wife on Pinterest looking for gift ideas. Pinterest is the perfect place to find gift ideas for us clueless guys.
And I’ve found the perfect gift. The problem is that it’s expensive. Even eBay (EBAY) is pricey for the designer sunglasses that she wants.
Then a brilliant idea hit me: I should ask the seller on eBay for a discount. The online retailing giant opened a proverbial can of worms when it started allowing sellers to add the “or best offer” option to auction listings. Even though this listing didn’t allow for haggling for discounts from its “buy it now” option, I thought I would try anyway.
So I emailed the seller, asking if the listing price on eBay was the best it could offer. I had nothing to lose. The worst thing it could tell me was no. And the seller had already beaten the best price I could find elsewhere by more than 10 percent.
I was pleasantly surprised when the retailer lowered the price by an additional 15 percent and threw in free shipping. This made me wonder how many other opportunities for discounts I was missing. All it takes is a little creativity and negotiation skills. Here are a few ideas.
Retail Stores Are Tough to Negotiate with for Customers
My friends gave me a crash course in bartering when I traveled to Mexico in college: If a store has air conditioning, the retailer freezes its prices as well.
It’s hard to haggling for discounts and negotiate with retail stores. They have a lot of overhead and often price their wares in order to earn a specific profit margin. But it isn’t impossible to negotiate. One of the best ways that you can open the conversation is to simply ask, “Is that the best price you can do?” This is a very powerful question. Retailers may surprise you by offering you a discount simply by asking for it.
Call About Cable, Phone and Internet Service
Cable and satellite TV providers are notorious for offering deep discounts and freebies when you initially sign up. But the price typically skyrockets after the introduction period expires. You can save a bundle on a your package by calling and requesting a discount.
“A quick call to your cable, home phone or Internet provider may uncover a new promotion that will save you big bucks,” says Andrea Woroch, consumer and money-saving expert with Kinoli. “Some may provide a discount for going paperless or setting up automatic payments. So ask what’s available or threaten to switch providers.”
Walking away has been a popular negotiating tactic that consumers have honed while buying cars and haggling for discounts, but you can use this tactic with a lot of online and brick and mortar retailers as well.
Note: This article was reproduced with permission from AOL Daily Finance.