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Black Friday Shopping – 8 Simple Steps to Getting a Better Deal

Updated on March 22, 2013
Score A Bigger Sale With Smart Haggling
Score A Bigger Sale With Smart Haggling | Source

Think that deal can’t get any better? Try negotiating for an additional discount!

The day after Thanksgiving marks the first day of the holiday shopping season in the US. It’s traditionally called “Black Friday” because it’s the day that most retailers look forward to being “put in the black” with high revenues. Most retailers lead with their very best deals of the year, hoping to attract shoppers, and some of the prices can be unbelievable.

If you’ve had your eye on a special item for a while, this may be the time to buy. Just because an item isn’t a “door crasher” doesn’t mean you can’t still get an amazing price. Try these simple tricks for negotiating a discount off the listed price:

Know the Value of What You’re Buying

Do a bit of research as to what the item you want to buy sells for, not only in stores but also online. Nothing impresses sellers like being able to quote chapter and verse about how much the other guy is selling it for. Don't settle for just a price match - after all, if you can get it there, what's the point of haggling over it here? Hold out for a lower price, even if it's just slightly reduced.

Know How Much You’re Willing to Spend

Know exactly how high you're willing to go before you get into a discussion with a merchant. Then stick to that amount, no matter what happens.

Know Your Vendors

You may not get far haggling over your Christmas turkey at the supermarket, but most other retailers are willing to negotiate. The larger the purchase and the larger the chain, the more wiggle room the retailer has, so haggling works best with electronics, furniture, appliance, and jewellery stores.

Be Ready to Pay Cash

When you pay with a credit card, merchants typically lose 2 to 5% of the value of the sale in fees to the credit card companies. Ask for that equivalent discount back if you pay cash. Credit and debit cards are handy, but merchants like nothing better than having that money in the till.

Ask for Add-Ons

If the merchant won’t (or can’t) negotiate on sticker price for an item, consider asking for add-ons free of charge. Buying an iPod? Why not ask for a free set of headphones or an iTunes card. Buying a laptop? Try to get 1 year of service or file transfer service thrown in for free. Remember that the actual cost of items to a retailer is about 50% of the sticker cost, so add-ons don’t really cost them that much and they’ll frequently throw you something to close the deal.

Pick The Right Time

This one doesn't always work but it's worth a shot. Going into a store just before closing time can sometimes help you land a better deal. Merchants anxious for the sale and to go home may give you what you want, to get you - and their stock - out of the building.

Get Ready to Leave

Be prepared to walk away if they won't come down in price or if they try to raise it more than you're willing to spend. Few serious businesses will let a customer with money in their hand walk away without making at least one more counter offer.

Score! Be a Gracious Buyer

Don't keep haggling forever. If you've gone through the exercise, make sure you buy it from that merchant, making it worth both your troubles. Thank the retailer for their consideration and assure them you’ll be back for future shopping.

Black Friday shopping is fun, frantic, and full of bargains. If your special item isn't on sale, don't fret. Use these simple tactics to negotiate a better bottom line price for your Christmas gifts.


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