A lot people don’t realise that prices for most products and services are not set in stone. They’re up for negotiation, it’s just most businesses hope you don’t realise it!
For those of us that do negotiate or haggle it tends to be on big ticket items like cars or furniture only. You would be amazed though, at the range of products and services you can negotiate to get a better price with. The rest might not know how, or are too embarrassed to give it a go. Personally I’m not willing to pay top dollar simply to save face to a total stranger.
Things You Can Negotiate
So what can we negotiate on? Here are a few things I tend to haggle with:
- Interest rates on term deposit and savings accounts.
- Interest rates on credit cards and loans.
- Utilities such as phone, electricity and subscription television.
- Stores you use regularly – for example discount for buying your formula in bulk at your regular pharmacy. This can work at the butcher, green grocer, markets, furniture and electrical.
- Large medical and dental bills.
- Travel and accommodation.
The Art of Negotiation
Okay so now that you know what to negotiate with how do you do it? These strategies might be helpful to you.
Do your research
Know what other providers or shops have advertised, what the rental market is like in your area, what the average price is for that product. Make sure it’s clear that you know what you’re talking about and won’t be fooled.
Always be friendly
Build relationships with service providers and local shops so you have some bargaining power.
Money closes the deal.
Act a skeptic buyer
Sit on the fence. Act unconvinced and make it clear they have to work for their sale.
Know your limits and be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right.
Offer to buy in bulk or combine services in bundles
If the provider is not budging on price negotiate extras instead such as extended warranty, extra channels on your subscription television etc.
Use your work contacts or your husband’s to get better prices. If your husband’s work always buys their furniture from Harvey Norman for example use that to your advantage.
Shop at the end of the month
Most shop assistants get paid monthly bonuses so at the end of the month they are keen to reach their quota.
If in doubt aim for the top!
Make sure the person your negotiating with has the power to give you the discounts you’re after. Never be afraid to speak with the manager!
Negotiation is not just exclusive in big businesses. Home making is also a serious business that we, stay at home mums, need to manage. Ultimately what have you got to lose? They can only say No but eventually when you learn how to negotiate, consider the deal closed in a spilt sec. *Wink!