Mar 25 2008

Haggling on everyday items: Would ya?

My friend sent me this link from the New York Times:

Even at megastores, hagglers find no price is set in stone

Savvy consumers, empowered by the Internet and encouraged by a slowing economy, are finding that they can dicker on prices, not just on clearance items or big-ticket products like televisions but also on lower-cost goods like cameras, audio speakers, couches, rugs and even clothing.

The change is not particularly overt, and most store policies on bargaining are informal. Some major retailers, however, are quietly telling their salespeople that negotiating is acceptable.

“We want to work with the customer, and if that happens to mean negotiating a price, then we’re willing to look at that,” said Kathryn Gallagher, a spokeswoman for Home Depot. …..

Gotta love that! I haven’t tried haggling at a regular store yet, but not because I wouldn’t. I just haven’t found myself in an opportunity to do so. As soon as I get a chance, I’ll try it–if for no other reason than to have an interesting blog post :)

Would you try to haggle at a place like Home Depot, or Best Buy, or other stores?

For ideas on how to haggle, check out this story in Reader’s Digest, tips at The Bargainist, and lessons learned at Wise Bread.



10 Responses to “Haggling on everyday items: Would ya?”

  1. We have successfully haggled a couple of times. I’m not going to haggle over the cost of a suit at Penney’s, but other places I’m more okay with it.

    We successfully haggled to get a 10% discount off a large order at Home Depot. They sometimes send out those 10% off cards anyway — they agreed if we used our Home Depot MasterCard they’d give us 10% off (saves them paying a fee to another financial institution if we used our Visa). We also got Lowe’s to take a Home Depot coupon (they often do this) and discount. And I hate to admit we wasted this money — but we splurged with our unanticipated tax refund and bought a pool table for our billiards room and got them to take 3% off the sale price for paying cash instead of using our credit card (they pay a 3% fee to the processor for a credit card payment anyway).

  2. I wouldn’t normally haggle on a single item but if I went to Best Buy I might ask if I could get a deal on a few items. I’ve done that at places like PC Richard. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try!

  3. Hubby and I have haggle prices at Best Buy and at furniture stores. We usually do it when we are buying many pieces and get a packaged deal. The couple of times that we did it at Best Buy we were able to show that we had purchased other big ticket items at the same store so we were a “frequent customer” and they gave us a better deal.

    I have done haggling on the price of clothes when I find that it has stains on it that should be able to come out with just a stain remover and washing.

    It is fun to haggle if you get a salesperson who is willing to work with you. If you get someone who is having a bad day and doesn’t want to be friendly then it makes haggling a bit harder. :)

    So my suggestion, give it a try! You might find yourself a good deal or two!

  4. My mom always haggled if there was the slightest flaw with the item, even if you’d never notice it (like a small smudge on the lower hem of a skirt that would come out with the first wash? She’d haggle. I’m not brave enough yet but I should be, darnit!

  5. I’ve haggled on things that were slightly damaged to get additional money off. I’ve never tried to haggle a regular item from Best Buy or any place like that though.

    I’m not a big fan of haggling and when people try to haggle with me to buy my jewelry I almost always say no. The price is set and that is what it is. If they are purchasing multiple items I am more inclined to give a discount but usually not if they ASK for one. :) I want to GIVE it not feel pressured.

  6. Wow — I had no clue you could now do that at a major retailer! That is really cool, though I am probably too much of a chicken to try it unless it’s a big-ticket item like a TV. I agree with castocreations — I would feel more comfortable doing that if an item is damaged or worn. But maybe I should try it more often…

  7. You Betcha! I have haggled on all sorts of things and will probably do so forever. I’ve haggled over the prices of big ticket items like cars and TVs all the way down to clothes and shoes. It sometimes is embarassing to my Hubby, but I have saved us a lot of money over the years by doing this.

    Most stores offer some sort of price matching system, so I just bring in ads from other stores and ask for those prices or I will purposely select clothing that is missing a button and ask for a discount. I’ve done that a lot at Dillards-the extra buttons are always sewn inside the garment, but they will still give you a discount.

    Sure, it is cheap, but why pay full retail prices if you don’t have to?

  8. I’ve used fliers at other stores before…and coupons. Never had it in me to haggle, though.

  9. I’ve only tried this on open box or damaged goods – I’ll have to try it on regular stuff. Great idea!

  10. i used to work at Best Buy, and HATED it when people would try to haggle for little crap. Seriously, it’s obnoxious and rude. If they bought a $400 IPOD from me, i’d usually take 10% off accesories or something for them, but usually i just did that at the register. i don’t even know if they would notice. (i wasn’t paid on commission, btw.) i understand people trying to get a good deal, but seriously, it’s a retail store, not a fish market.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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