Family Money Saving Tips

How to Negotiate a Better Price at the Store: 25 Ideas

How to Negotiate a Better Price at the Store: 25 Ideas
Written by Oana Schneider

Who doesn’t like getting a good bargain? Whether you’re buying a new TV, a laptop, a second hand car or even meat from a local shop, there are ways for you to pay a figure that’s lower than the asking price. This is where your negotiating or haggling skills come in handy.

Haggling is actually a common part of commerce in most parts of the world but not so in the United States. Why? Simply because Americans are uncomfortable talking about money out in the open, and negotiating for a lower price involves asking someone for a favor. The good news is that you can get over these things so that you can get the best value for your money when buying something and this is how to negotiate a better price at the store!

First, let’s bust the most common myths regarding haggling. Some people think that when you haggle, you are being argumentative. This is not true at all. In fact, negotiating for a better price involves building trust and respect between two people, so you are not being argumentative at all.

Another myth about haggling is that it is only for cheapskates or for ordinary folks. Did you know that even billionaire CEOs haggle with each other on multi-million dollar business deals? This is because they know exactly how much something is worth, so they’re willing to exert the extra effort to get what they want. Trying to find out how to negotiate a better price at the store? Keep reading!

Also, a lot of people think that haggling is inappropriate, and that it is not worth the time or the savings that you will get. Arguing over the fixed price of a food item at a grocery store might be inappropriate, but not so for the other items – especially big ticket items like appliances or electronics. More importantly, haggling can be worth the time and savings. By refining your negotiating skills, you can save as much as 50% or even more off the asking price of any item that you’re planning to buy.

How to Negotiate a Better Price at the Store 

1. Flinch.

When trying to figure out how to negotiate a better price at the store, think about doing this. Now, what are the best ways for you to negotiate a better price at a local store? No matter which item it is that you are purchasing, there are techniques you can apply to negotiate for a lower price: this may sound overly dramatic especially if you don’t know how to act, but flinching is a centuries-old trick that people use to get a good bargain.

When you visit a thrift store, for example, where the items do not have a price tag, flinching after hearing the amount will make the seller feel uncomfortable about the offer. Once you appear shocked and surprised upon hearing the offer, the seller will either be very uncomfortable and rationalize why such a price was quoted. Or, the seller will offer an immediate concession. Either way, flinching is an excellent point for the start of negotiations.

2. Learn about the most useful expressions for negotiating a lower price.

Here are some of the most useful expressions that you can be used if you want to know how to negotiate a better price at the store:

  • “I’ve seen this at another store for way less.”
  • “(Store Name) has the same item for $100. Can you offer me something lower?”
  • “What’s the discount if I paid in cash?”
  • “What’s the best price that you can offer?”
  • “That’s too expensive.”
How to Negotiate a Better Price at the Store: 25 Ideas

Make Sure to Take Advantage of Every Discount!

By using these expressions, you can let the seller know that you did your homework and research what other stores are offering or the same item.

3. Remember that sellers typically ask for more than what they actually expect to get.

The rule of thumb to follow when looking up how to negotiate a better price at the store is to ask for half of what you were asked for. If the quoted price is $50, for instance, you can ask if the seller will give the item to you for $25. You’ll be surprised at how many of them will actually agree to your offer.

4. Do your homework.

If you need to buy a new refrigerator, do a price, brand and model comparison online. Once you decide on a brand and model, research how much the item goes at online retailers and actual shops. Once you have an idea about the average price, you can negotiate for a lower price, without being unrealistic about it. How to negotiate a better price at the store? Be well-informed and financially creative!

5. Refine your negotiating skills.

The number one thing that you need if you want to be a master haggler or price negotiator is confidence. Again, make sure that you do your homework so that when the time comes for you to ask for a lower price, the seller will not find your request unreasonable. Some phrases that you can use for this are “You’ll have to do better than that,” or simply “How about something lower?”. Finding out how to negotiate a better price at the store is really not a hard thing to do. Most retailers are willing to help.

6. Remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask.

As mentioned earlier, Americans are not that good at negotiating simply because they are embarrassed to go through the whole process. Even if it’s as simple as asking for a discount straight out, keep in mind that it never hurts to ask.

7. Know when to walk away.

How to negotiate a better price at the store after they already said no? Once you walk into a store, play it cool as you’re walking down the aisles. Wait for a sales staff to approach you and after asking for the price of an item, point out something that you don’t like about it. This is when you can start the negotiations and if the staff won’t budge at your request, be prepared to walk away. Most of the time, you will be stopped and the seller will agree to the price you asked for – if it’s within reason.

8. You can also negotiate when buying from online stores.

When buying from online stores, you can negotiate by looking for discount coupons, vouchers, or e-mailing the seller and asking for free shipping or other discount codes.

9. Grab a lower price when buying electronics and electrical appliances.

Electronics and electrical appliances are big ticket items that you can negotiate a lower price for. When buying an HDTV, for instance, there are dozens of brands and models that you can choose from, so you can easily get great bargains. Generally, people are interested in how to negotiate a better price at the store because they want to purchase electronics, in which case this applies. 

10. Be polite, respectful and direct.

To master the art of negotiating, be polite, respectful and direct. Keep the negotiations short, know when not to back down and always be respectful. A rude customer never gets a good bargain.

11. Negotiate with the right person.

A sales staff who works on commission might not give you a discount even if an item has a scratch or a minor imperfection. But when you talk to the manager or supervisor, you can point out what’s wrong with the product and negotiate for a better rate. First rule of our “how to negotiate a better price at the store” tutorial is to choose the right opponent: don’t do business with someone who looks moody.

How to Negotiate a Better Price at the Store: 25 Ideas

Try to Cut a Deal with the Store When Buying Bulk.

12. Consider buying in bulk to get better discounts.

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to ask for a discount is to buy in bulk. When purchasing household items that you can stock on, always ask for a bulk discount.

13. Use the most recent sale price as a negotiating tool.

If you know that the store offered a certain price for the exact same item, use that figure as a negotiating tool. Tell the seller that you saw the item on sale at this price just a few days ago, and you could get the exact same deal.

14. Use scuffs, scratches and minor imperfections as a negotiating point.

A minor scratch, scuff or other imperfections on items are an excellent point to negotiate. Such imperfections on the products will greatly reduce the asking price. How to negotiate a better price at the store when there are scratches involved? Piece of cake!

15. Ask for a discount if you are paying in cash.

You can also ask for a discount if you are paying in cash. Most retailers have to pay fees with credit card companies when you use your card as payment, so are less likely to offer you discounts.

16. Ask for extras.

If the seller won’t budge for a lower price, simply ask for extras like free delivery, an added accessory or any other extra. Our “how to negotiate a better price at the store” is based on the fact that you will be bald enough to do this, so let your shame aside and ask for those extras!

17. Dress casually when going bargain hunting.

You don’t have to dress like a pauper when going bargain hunting, but you should not dress in expensive clothes, either. Dress down so that you can get a better price than what is actually offered by the seller.

18. Shop about two hours before the sellers pack up and leave, or before the store closes.

When you arrive at the end of the day, sellers are most likely eager to go home – so they’d want the transaction to be quick. Go for the jugular and ask for a lower price, and you might actually get what you want from the transaction. And this, my friends, is how to negotiate a better price at the store!

19. Prepare your rebuttals.

Again, this is when research comes in handy. If the seller won’t budget, tell him or her that you saw the exact same item at a specific store so if they won’t sell you the item, you can just as easily buy it from a different retailer.

20. Just because the seller says no does not mean the negotiations are over.

Bargaining involves an exchange of prices between the buyer and the seller. Just because the seller said no does not mean that the negotiation is over. Make a counter offer, upon which the seller is most likely to make another offer, until you reach a price that is satisfactory for you both. Need more tips on how to negotiate a better price at the store? You got them!

Bonus Tips for Negotiating at Specific Stores 

When buying from specific retail stores, here are a few quick tips to remember:

Best Buy 

If you’re buying a big ticket item like a TV, listen to the salesperson’s offer. A specific brand will usually have a larger margin, which means that there is more room for the two of you to negotiate. Also, if you’re buying more than one item, bundle your purchases together and ask for a discount of the overall price.

Costco 

Clearance items at Costco will have an * in the upper right hand corner, and there’s a 97-cent ending on the price. If you’re buying in bulk, you can choose these specially tagged items and negotiate for a lower price.

Home Depot 

Be a keen observer at Home Depot. The store has a lot of items with small imperfections, where you can usually get a 10% to 15% discount after pointing it out.

Lowe’s 

Another home improvement shop, you can always ask for a lower rate than the sticker price at Lowes. They also have a section where the items has scratches and dents, which they offer at a much lower price than usual.

Sears

Finally, there’s Sears where you can buy appliances and tools. When buying a big ticket item, always ask for a coupon or a lower price. You can also look for floor models which are on clearance sale, where you can get hefty discounts.

 

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

5 Comments

  • Knowing when to walk away is an impressive negotiating tactic in itself. I’ve seen a lot people who have already set their minds into buying an item, and they are usually the ones being taken advantage of the most. A person who knows when to walk away will eventually get the better of everyone they deal with.

  • One should never give up without a fight, that’s our philosophy , so why not try a few things in order to get a lower price? This may not seem like an important thing right now, but think about renovating the whole kitchen, for example: countertop, kitchen cabinets, appliances, tiles and the list goes on. You’re gonna wanna get a discount in this case, trust me!

  • I feel like this article was written directly to me! I can’t believe how many of your “don’t do” things I have done. In fact, we bought a big screen TV at Sears a few years back. It never occurred to me to try to negotiate. Your specific things to say will help me a lot. And that flinching thing? I can definitely do that.

    Only 2 things I already knew: Be nice, and the grocery story discounts. I knew that at my local grocery store they will give you a discount for buying a case of something… *if* you ask for it. Unfortunately, I tend to forget that, or think it’s a hassle to ask to get a case of something.

    It always pays to be nice, especially at a restaurant or on the phone. I’ve worked on the other side of software support, and know that I’ll go the extra mile for someone who is courteous and respectful and friendly.

  • I think it would help for Americans to go into the transaction thinking of it as a garage sale, where most of us feel comfortable haggling for a better price. Many items are marked way up, especially furnishings and electronics, and that leaves wiggle room.

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