Last week, we wrote about the 10 things you should always haggle for, which includes credit card late fees and mortgage rates. This week, the MyBankTracker team discusses things we’ve haggled for, including a failed attempt at securing some sweet, sweet Hello Kitty sneakers for less (pictured above).
Amy: I tried to haggle once, to try to see if I could get a lower gym membership rate, but the gym I was looking into (New York Sports Club) was not interested. They were like, “Sorry, our rates are locked.”
Simon: Yeah, some chains are like that.
Claire: It might have worked with a smaller gym or a struggling gym like Bally’s. Man, the sales rep was on the phone with me for ten minutes trying to keep me to stay. “Are you sure? You can go twice a month and we can charge you less for that.” But at that point, they couldn’t have paid me to stay.
I learned this after reading Ramit Seithi’s book, but I’ve started to haggle on eBay too. There are listings that have the Best Offer options, but there are some that don’t have that, so I get in touch with the seller to see if they would accept a lower price. And I haven’t gotten a straight-up “no” yet.
Amy: What kinds of things are you buying though? I can’t imagine this works really well for things that are expensive to begin with.
Claire: No, it’s nothing expensive. If it’s something cheap, I’ll see if I can knock a couple of bucks off. If it’s something slightly more expensive I’ll see if the seller can give me a $10 or $20 discount. Just so I know that I’m getting something cheaper than it was going for. It just makes me feel better.
Amy: For listings that have Best Offer options, I haggle pretty hard. If something is listed for $200, I’ll put in an offer for $100. And most of the time, the counter-offers are closer to my ask than the original ask, which is how I know that sellers are usually marking up the prices of items way higher than they’re willing to part with. That also gives me the knowledge that I should always start with a low price and work my way up. Sometimes, what you think may be a “ridiculous” offer is not that ridiculous.
Simon: I don’t haggle myself, but I’ve watched my dad do it. One time, we wanted to get an air conditioner, and it was $100, and my dad asked if the owner was willing to part from it for $80, and the owner said no. So my dad got something else from the store, which bumped up the total to $130, and then he asked for a $20 discount. We got it then. My dad does this often: buy multiple things and then ask for discount after, instead of getting a smaller discount on one item.
Claire: Oh, also, I went to a shoe repair place this weekend and haggled over that too. I bought in three pairs of shoes to get reheeled and resoled, and the owner said $100, and I said $90. I gave him my best puppy face and it worked!
Simon: Yeah haggling works a lot better at mom-and-pop stores.
Amy: So before we started this chat I asked Laura about this, and she told me that she doesn’t haggle because she feels bad — she says the people we’re haggling with need the money more than we do. And that made me feel bad!
Laura: It makes me feel bad because it feels confrontational, but it shouldn’t make you feel bad! I did haggle once. I was in Hong Kong for school, and there were a pair of Hello Kitty sneakers that I really wanted. They were $300 Hong Kong dollars (which is approximately $50 USD) and haggled (as best I could), “Can I have these for cheaper?” The shop owner said no, and then I bought them anyway, because I was about to leave for the semester and… I really wanted them!
Amy: When you haggle, you should never ask, “Can I have these for cheaper?” Total rookie mistake! That gives the seller a total window to say no. Always be assertive and give a dollar amount that you’re willing to pay.
– – – – – – –
MyBankTracker readers, do you haggle? What items have you haggled over?