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Those who haggle save major money, survey says

Most people don't try to negotiate discounts, but those who do save hundreds of dollars with very simple techniques.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 11, 2013 1:03PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


MTN logoAsk, and you really will receive. Eighty-nine percent of people who haggled in the past three years were rewarded at least once, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of 2,000 adults.

The average savings varied depending on the good or service, but in every category a majority of hagglers saved $100 or more. On furniture and medical bills, the average savings was $300, the survey found. Medical bills were the category that people were least likely to attempt to negotiate, while furniture was among the most common things to haggle over.

Money Talks News' own Stacy Johnson once knocked $90 total off his cable bill over six months by making a 13-minute phone call.

Most of us hate to do it, though. Only 48% even tried to negotiate a better deal on everyday goods and services, CR says.


That's too bad. The worst thing that can happen isn't somebody telling you no; it's not even trying.

 Money (© Comstock Images/Jupiterimages)

CR highlights the stories of a woman who knocked $7,500 off an expected $10,000 cataract surgery by explaining she lacked insurance and a group of neighbors who saved $8,000 on tree removal by banding together and asking for a discount.


We have a lot of advice on how to haggle, and so does CR's new issue. Here are a few of their tips:

  • Ask open-ended questions, not yes-or-no ones.
  • Use research or expertise to prove you know what you're talking about.
  • Don't be rushed or intimidated by a title.

CR also shares which tactics used by consumers in the survey worked best.


Announcing you'd check with competitors, actually doing so (and bringing their ads), and making small talk all helped at least 40% of hagglers.


Do you have experience with haggling? Share your advice for people who might be a little shy.

More on Money Talks News:

Jul 11, 2013 2:22PM
I never buy a car at a dealer that says they have a fixed price policy.  I always get a better deal when I negotiate.  Tke the emotion out.  Assume you can find another car at another dealer that you like just as much and be ready to walk out the door.  You can't be unrealistic and the dealer must make a profit, but you want to find that bottom end where both you and the dealer are satisfied. And with cars, pay special attention to all the little things that can get added after the major price negotiation is complete. This is when you are potentially vulnerable after the pressure of the big deal is over. To help avoid this I typically negotiate an "out the door price" which includes taxes, license, dealer prep, filing fees etc so I know the number I am targeting ahead of time with no surprises later.
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