From health care to groceries, haggling is hot. A recent survey by the American Research Group found that 72 percent of consumers report recently trying to negotiate a lower deal on retail products other than cars, and that 80 percent of these attempts were successful [source: TIME]. But haggling isn't always easy. "It's very hard to walk into a store, see something on a shelf, and haggle over it," says Rick Doble, author of the book "Cheaper: Insider's Tips for Saving on Everything." Instead, it pays to do your homework inside the store and out.
First, think about a seller's motivation to discount -- supply, demand and deadline being high on the list. In other words, look for an item or service that no one's buying and that the seller would like to get rid of. Is it going to spoil? Is it taking up needed space? Would paying any amount for the item or service give the sellers more than they would otherwise get?
Then apply the rules of haggling success, developed by Teri Gault, CEO and founder of thegrocerygame.com:
- Be polite and positive.
- Deal with the store manager or someone who has the power to adjust prices.
- Go during a quiet time.
- Do your homework so you know beforehand what a good deal is.
- Offer lower than what you expect to pay, and be willing to walk away.
Specific items require specific haggling techniques. Keep reading to learn how to haggle your way to savings, even on items whose prices seem set in stone.