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Price haggling is easier than you think, can get you big savings

July 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Everyone loves a bargain, but many people never ask for one. A new survey of 2,000 shoppers reveals that only about half tried negotiating when purchasing an item.

When Kaitlyn Deane goes shopping, she never pays full price.

"I love to haggle. It's nice to bargain down people on certain things that you want to get for yourself," she said.

Like Deane, most shoppers who haggle get a better deal.

"Eighty-nine percent of those who tried haggling for all sorts of goods and services were successful at it," said Tod Marks with Consumer Reports. "Men, well, they enjoyed haggling slightly more than women did, but women were equally as effective when they tried haggling."

What can you save? Consumer Reports survey found furniture shoppers saved $300 on average. Doctor and dentist bills also came down $300 when people negotiated, though fewer people tried. People who haggled for appliances saved an average of $200.

One secret to Deane's success is she's not afraid to speak up.

"Recently, on a shirt I just purchased there was a little stain on it, so I asked them for a percentage off, and they gave me 10 percent off," she said.

Marks has other winning strategies.

"The most popular tactic consumers told us that they used to get a discount was to simply tell the salesperson that they're going to check a competitor's prices," he said.

Marks says researching to find a competitive price before you negotiate is also effective.

"The only way you find out what a fair price is, is to check online forums, to check fliers, to check web versus in-the-store prices," he said.

Consumer Reports says it pays to be polite.

"Remember, you can catch more flies, and discounts, with honey than you can with vinegar," said Marks.

Another area where you should consider negotiating is over bank and credit card fees. Consumer Reports says people who did saved an average of $100.

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