Negotiation skills

May 31, 2009 12:07:55 AM PDT
Heather Ferrari has racked up lots of savings on all these things. She isn't shy about asking for a better price, "Just do it. You have nothing to lose. You don't have to be aggressive and mean about it and if they say no, then no."Consumer reports' money expert Mandy Walker says your approach is critical.

Mandy Walker with consumer reports said, "Demanding a discount will get you nowhere. And trying to work a deal in front of other customers is a bad idea, too. You want to find the person in charge, be polite, and be discreet."

Consumer reports' latest special money issue says in order to negotiate the best deal, you've got to do your homework.

Mandy walker said, "If you have proof an item is being sold for less elsewhere, ask the store to match it. But if you can't get a break on price, ask for free shipping, delivery, or instillation."

Another opportunity to haggle: Floor models at furniture and appliance stores. Electronics stores, too.

Consumer reports finds more than 90% of those who've asked for a discount in the last few years got it on at least one purchase.

Also, like heather, keep an eye out for minor flaws.

Heather Ferrari said, "This bag was 20 dollars but I got it for three because there was a rip in the lining."

And paying with cash is another way to sweeten the deal. Finally consumer reports says be prepared to walk away, as heather as learned.

Heather Ferrari said, "It's when you start walking away. If you're not aggressive with them and you just start walking away I think it works better."

Consumer reports says timing can make a big difference in snagging a good deal. Try the end of the month when salespeople are trying to meet their quotas. And don't forget to ask about upcoming sales. Even ask if a salesperson can set something aside for you until the sale.

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