The number on the sticker isn’t always set in stone.
Score! There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of negotiating a great deal, whether you’re haggling over the price of a used bike at a yard sale or making a low bid on the fixer-upper of your dreams. But there are deals to be had on goods and services you may have never even dreamed you could bargain for. “Any service that has a variable amount can be negotiated,” says Patricia Seaman, senior director of Smart About Money, a nonprofit that educates consumers about personal finance.
The trick is to be polite but firm, and use the right persuasion tactics, says Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate for the personal finance website Finder.com. “Consumers should never be afraid to ask for a better deal. You need to talk to the right person and come armed with information, such as how much competitors are charging and whether they’ve had a sale recently,” McDermott says. “The worst that can happen is you’re told no—but if you’re successful, you walk away with a good or service you would have paid for anyway at a much better deal.” Also, McDermott advises you to always be discreet. Don’t ask for a deal in front of other customers, or when there is a long line of people waiting to talk with the salesperson.
Here are seven things you can get a better deal on if you sharpen your haggling skills.