The simplest way to save on everything
The way to get the best deal on anything from dry cleaning to a new car is to employ the same technique humans have used since they learned to communicate.
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
But lost in the technology shuffle is an even simpler way to save. It's the technique human beings have been using since they developed the ability to employ language: Ask for a better deal.
Granted, we often haggle when shopping for big-ticket items like cars or houses. But there's no reason you shouldn't try it with less-expensive items. It can work when you buy furniture or even stay at a hotel. In fact, a national Consumer Reports survey found that Americans who ask for a discount get it up to 83% of the time.
In the video below, Stacy Johnson shows you the right way to ask for savings, including how he knocked $90 off his cable bill in a 13-minute phone call. Check it out, and read on for tips to becoming a better negotiator.
The person with the power is the one who doesn't care if the deal gets done.
In short, try to buy when others aren't and when stores need to either clear inventory or make a quota.
That being said, it's important to be real. You don't have to be Donald Trump or Mr. Rogers to get a deal -- just be yourself. Use the person's name as often as possible, look him or her in the eye, and treat people as you like being treated.
10. Go for extras. If the price is nonnegotiable, don't give up. There are other ways to sweeten a deal -- like a free upgrade, accessories, a future discount, free shipping, free delivery or free installation. Sometimes, businesses are already prepared to offer these concessions -- because they're cheaper than dropping the price but still make customers happy.
Bottom line? Like conversation, negotiation is an art that cries out to be practiced. It's not just acceptable, it's fun. It often results in lively banter and nearly as often a better deal. That's why it's one of the 10 golden rules of saving on everything.
More from Money Talks News and MSN Money:
- 5 ways to put $50 in your pocket
- Confessions of a serial haggler
- 3 scary personal finance stats
- A simple system to destroy debt
- Quiz:Get a free credit score estimate
- Turn spring cleaning clutter into cash
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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