Do you think everything is a set price? Think again! Sometimes you can negotiate your way to a better deal. The first rule of thumb in sales is to ask for a sale. The same can be said about getting a deal—if you don’t ask for one, chances are you won’t get one. There are a number of things you can ask for a better deal on and often get it.
1) Credit card interest rates
The race for your dollar is a tight one, and credit card companies do not want to lose your business, or the money you are paying them in interest each month. If you have a high interest card and you wish your rate was lower, ASK! Call the card company and tell the rep that’s what you are looking for. You can often mention a competing card that has a lower rate that you are considering switching to and accomplish your goal. Or, if bankruptcy is possibly on your horizon, mention that—the card company would rather get some of your money than none of your money. If the rep can’t help you, ask for a supervisor.
2) Cable, satellite and phone services
These fields are super competitive these days. Arm yourself with the competitor’s deal information, then call your current company and let them know you are planning to switch unless they match that deal. Be prepared to switch if they can’t match it.
3) Cars at the dealership
This one kind of goes without saying, but always, ALWAYS negotiate. Whatever the salesperson tells you is the bottom dollar is often NOT the bottom dollar. If they don’t accept your lower offer, thank them for their time, tell them you will be looking elsewhere, and walk away. It’s amazing how many times the “bottom dollar” can suddenly get lower when the salesperson thinks they may lose the sale.
4) Scratch and dent items
Many times stores will offer “scratch and dent” items at a lower price. You will often see these items in a clearance area of the store. Ask for a manager and see if there may be an even better price—the last thing that manager wants is for that merchandise to continue to sit on the sales floor! I’ve personally bought office chairs and filing cabinets for a great deal because they had small scratches on them.
5) Slightly flawed items in department stores…clothing, framed art, furniture, etc.
Sometimes you run across an item that is just slightly flawed—a shirt with a missing button, a picture frame with a nicked corner, or a piece of furniture that has been scratched. Often you can get a 10-20% discount on these items just by asking. Many cashiers are empowered to offer these discounts if you ask. If not, sometimes they can call a supervisor who can extend that discount to you.
6) Bulk items
Any time you are buying in bulk, it’s a good idea to see if you can get a bulk discount. Ask to speak to a manager to find out if you can get a lower price if you are buying “x” number of items.
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