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6 Ways to Improve Your Haggling Strategy

The shameless procedure of haggling at local retailers is a pastime of the savvy shopper. Not everyone is great at haggling but improving those tactics can end up in stellar deals.

Unlike many shoppers who simply settle for the lowest non-negotiated price available to them,  some shoppers prefer to the more active approach.

But, it takes practice and experience to effectively engage in these small back-and-forth price negotiations.

Here’s how you can toughen up your haggling strategy for bigger discounts:

1. Let them know you are interested.

By loosening up your guard against the aggressive tactics of a salesperson, you let them know that you are a potential paying customer, which can actually benefit your haggling position. The salesperson will be more open to work with you to close a sale. The salesperson thinks he hooked you in while it was actually you who did it to him.

2. Buy more to get larger discounts.

If you are going to buy more than one item, you may have leverage in your haggling attempt to score an even larger discount. Stores are always interested in selling more merchandise and clearing their inventory. You may be able to extend your discount across multiple items, which could amount to plenty of savings.

3. Point out flaws and imperfections.

Missing buttons, loose threads, and removable stains are often worthy mentions to a salesperson if your purpose is to get a discount. It costs the store enough time and money to fix these little flaws that it is better off selling these imperfect merchandise for a lower price.

4. Research and compare prices from competitors.

With the Internet, there is little reason not to conduct research on prices available on the web. Many smartphones have applications that will present you with a list of prices and stores with the quick scan of an item’s barcode. Point out the lower price and offer the store the chance to provide lower price. Even large retailers such as Home Depot and Sears are willing to offer a discount if you find a better price at a competitor.

5. Offer to pay in cash.

Costly interchange fees paid by merchants to debit and credit card processors are built into merchandise prices. Instead of pulling out cash back or rewards credit cards, offer to pay in cash in exchange for a 2-3% discount if you are not getting an equivalent amount in cash back or rewards from your credit card. Cash would save money for both parties in this situation.

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

Walking away from a less-than-superb price offer is a haggling tactic that is well-known among salespeople - but it is still very effective. If a salesperson makes a last-second effort to close the sale, you may end up with a great deal. Or, if you leave and a better price couldn’t be found elsewhere, there is nothing wrong with returning to that store.

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