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Negotiate Discounts on Products and Services

Updated on August 27, 2009

First, would you walk?

Before you decide you would like to get a discount or work out a deal, decide if you are willing to walk away from the product or service if the deal not work out in your favor. If you are willing to pay the price listed, it can still be worth giving it a shot!

Decide what you are willing to pay, and try shooting lower than your target. This will give you room to negotiate.

Also, remember have a good attitude! Be friendly, express your appreciation for good service if it is provided. You want someone to work with you, not against you.

Who can I work with?

Possibly the easier places to negotiate price or service are privately owned businesses. Under this category I would include mom-and-pop type places, flea markets, garage sales, classified ads, etc.. Privately owned places may have more flexibility. You may be able to offer a price on something you know may be priced lower at a competitor. Some places will work with you to match prices to keep business.

Purchasing in a large quantity? Ask for a multi item discount. If you can't get them to work on the price, how about any additional services associated with it? For example, offer to pick up a delivery item yourself for a discount. If you are looking for a service, offer to purchase raw materials that the establishment would provide in exchange for a lower rate on the service.

Emphasize you are a local and be a part of the community. If you have a business or offer a service, offer to exchange information about your business. Be willing to return a favor on a discount if your services are ever needed.

For mass retailers who have one price posted and hourly associates on the sales floor, you may not be able to work on price. If you do, have a reasonable request. One easy request is a discount off of an item that is dented or damaged.

Does the product or service include things you don't need? In one instance I was purchasing a computer and it did not include a disk I needed. I could buy an upgrade package to get the disk, but the upgrade included additional items I did not need and it was expensive. I would have to wait 7 hours for the computer to be programmed with the disk needed. I was serious about the purchase and the customer service manager was able to offer the add-on package at a discounted price when I purchased it on the same visit. The price of the computer was fixed, but these add-ons can have wiggle room on price.

Ringing up right at the register? Many stores offer discounts or free items that do not ring up at the correct price at the register. I once brought it to the attention of a manger that several items rang op incorrectly frequently. I did not ask for anything in return, but was offered a discount on my bill.

Do you have an expired coupon? Do you see the same item you want to buy no longer on sale, when it was on sale the week before? Bring last week's ads and expired coupons. Express your intention of coming in at the right time to get the discount but explain you could not make it but still prefer to shop at their store. See if they will still honor those prices.

Have any other tips? comment below! I found the key is to be friendly and resonable!

What to avoid

Avoid shopping or calling during peak hours. Associates will be swamped and may not have time to spend talking with you, other customers may need their help. Management staff with decision-making ability will the people to talk to directly, or another associate who has been assistanting you for a lengthy time may be able to ask their manager for permission to give a discount.

Don't sign up for credit cards offered in stores just for the 10% discount! If you apply for credit cards, do your research and make a decision about the best card for you and your financial plans. The extra instant % off is not always a huge deal. If you are not approved instantly for the card, the application does go on your credit history. These discounts may be a way for sales associates to offer discounts, but it may not be worth it in the end

Don't be unpleasant if you want things to go your way. You don't want to be the reason someone had a bad day at work. Don't be a know-it-all either. If you have worked in a similar position as the associate you are talking to, showing you know everything better than they do can be annoying. If you do have product knowledge and the associate is uneducated about the topic, try to find another associate.


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      Bronwe 8 years ago

      Great article. If you are shopping online, I always look for voucher codes on the net as they always get you a % off or free delivery for example.

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      beachwalker 8 years ago

      Like what you have here.