Put this in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” file. The New York Times carries a story today that as the economy tanks, retailers are more interested in haggling. That is, you can offer less than the price and negotiate your way to riches.
And we’re not talking Mom and Pop stores, here, according to the Times; we’re talking the megastores. You know, where the kid you’re haggling with would give it to you free if it were up to him.
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.
Home Depot and Best Buy are mentioned as likely hagglers. Of course, first you have to find someone to wait on you.
And how long do you think it’ll be before someone starts a Web site cataloging the lowest price that, say, a Best Buy let Model XYZ HDTV walk out the door for?
So here’s your challenge. Try to haggle this week at one of these stores, then report back.
Here are some general guidelines, courtesy of the Wisebread article, “How Haggling Taught Me About Life.”
1. It never hurts to ask.
2. Shop around and learn the market
3. Know your price.
4. Stay calm.
5. Have fun.
6. Don’t be afraid to walk away.
And a Reader’s Digest article a few years ago featured 5 lines you should learn before you go a hagglin’,
Oh, and just for fun, see if they’ll take a couple of goats in exchange for something.