Most of us assume when we are in a store and a price is posted for an item that is the only price at which that the item will be sold. This is often not the case. You probably can’t negotiate with your local supermarket on the price of a pepper but when dealing with large ticket items you can often do much better than the listed price.
Before shopping for a big ticket item (electronics, furniture, appliances, jewelry, etc.) you should first check any advertisements in local papers to get an idea of what the price range is in your area for the type of product you are looking for. Next going on the Internet and checking the prices for the same item will give you an idea of the price for shipped merchandise. When dealing with items like appliances or furniture you may want to go to a brick and mortar store to actually see and try out the item. When dealing with Internet vendors you often don’t get charged sales tax but you may be charged for shipping so you need to balance that off against your local merchant’s charges.
Most of us don’t realize we can negotiate with the local merchant or we feel embarrassed to try it. Many merchants now advertise they will meet competitor’s prices but they will only do that if you can show them the price or they can go online and check it out. Recently, I went into a local store to buy a new flat screen TV and they had a listed price for the one I wanted. I mentioned to the salesperson that I had seen an advertisement from a competitor for a price $150.00 lower. He checked online and saw that was correct and not only offered me the lower price but actually offered me a price that was an additional $50.00 lower than the competitor’s price I had requested. Just a little research and a few moments of my time and I saved over $200.00 because the sales tax was also on a lower amount.
For those people who are really shy and feel that this is too hard to do, remember the salesperson wants to make the sale and they will often try to help but only if you ask. Here are a couple of lines I have used in the past to get the negotiating started. “Is that the best you can do?” When they say a number I’ll often say, “Can you do any better than that?” and look like I’m ready to leave the store. “Can you help me here? I really like this product but it is a bit over my budget.” I always try to get them to make the first offer because it is usually not their best offer. You should try this just for fun and you’ll be really surprised how well it works.
#consumer #consumeradvocacy #shopping #shopper