If you’re like me (and probably everyone else for that matter), I’m always looking for the best deals when it comes to making a buying decision on a product or a service. But I always take it a step further by negotiating the final price: It’s all part of my money saving techniques to help keep more money in my pocket. I know some of you may be a little timid or shy or even embarrassed when it comes to negotiating prices on items, but being able to negotiate well can reap vast benefits.
Some of the most typical types of products/services you can negotiate on are deals when there’s a “salesman” involved. At the end of the day, they’re making sure they can make a little commission, right? Why pay someone full price if you can spend a little less by reasoning with him or her? Here are six things you should always try to negotiate:
- Automobiles– This is probably one of the first things that comes to someone’s mind when it comes to negotiating prices. Have you ever noticed the salesman going into the “back room” to check with their manager about the price? Yes, they’re playing the good ol’ fashioned “good cop, bad cop” routine. Car salesmen are notoriously known to be the best salespeople in the industry. The moment you walk through that door, that’s when their sales approach starts. Be calm and don’t get overwhelmed -it’s their job. You can read my past article that gives a comprehensive guide on how to negotiate the best price on a car.
- Mortgage Rates- I always advise everyone to compare rates with different mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers can earn income in two different ways: origination points, and YSP (Yield Spread) from the interest rate they charge you. If you shop around for different rates, compare the interest rate they’re charging with the origination point. You should be able to figure out what the Par rate is. Most people just go with the bank they’ve been using for years, but it really does behoove you to shop around, for it can save you thousands in the long run. You shop around for the perfect home; why not shop around for that perfect broker who can get you the best rates to go along with that perfect home?
- Cable/Internet/Phone Bill- I remember calling my cable provider one day after the service was rather sporadic. I called to “cancel” my account (although I wasn’t really going to), and they were able to give me an amazing deal to keep me as a customer. This goes for phone bills as well. I don’t know how many times I’ve called my cellular phone provider to get my drop calls and other phone issues figured out. As customer service reps, their job is to retain your services and to keep you satisfied. In this way, I’ve gotten quite a few breaks on my phone bill and have even received a few free services on top of my plan as well.
- Medical Bills- These types of bills are considered ‘unsecured debts,’ which means there isn’t any collateral attached to the debt. Any type of unsecured debt can be negotiated for 40-60% of the balance. This includes credit cards, utility bills, past due collection accounts, and even medical bills.
- Gym Memberships – Whenever you go in for a promotional “free trial,” gyms are luring you in for the chance to sell you on their membership and their other services. Most of the time, you have to take a “tour” and sit down with salesperson to go over the membership details. If you’re a girl, there usually is some buff guy who will flirt with you and try to “hook you up.” If not, then pay attention. They will usually offer you the “promotion” for new members, or even some kind of incentive to renew for existing members. Never take what they’re saying at face value. There is always a better deal when it comes to gym memberships. It depends who you’re talking with- sometimes if they’re a little higher up and you give them your sob story on why you can’t really afford that much right now, they will work with you to get you in. Or, the salesperson will go and talk to the manager or his higher-up to figure it out for you. Do your homework before you go in too- the more you know about other gyms and let them know you’re shopping around for a gym and have tried free classes at such and such gym, their competitors, the more they will want you for themselves. Or, here’s another tip: if you really can’t afford an expensive gym membership, get some guest passes from your friends from different gyms and try out different classes because that’s all free! You may even be able to get away with doing that for a whole month- or even longer- depending on how many people you know!
- Open Box Items– This is probably one of my favorites! Whenever I’m in the market to purchase a TV or an electronic, I always ask if they have an open box item or display item. Usually, they won’t sell you a display item unless they’re out of stock on the item, but if you’re lucky enough to score one, there’s always room for negotiation!
Being able to haggle on prices can ultimately save you tons of money in the long run. Imagine a .5% difference in interest rates, and the affect it has on your monthly payment and total payoff for your mortgage! Like my mother always says, “you’ll never know until you ask!”
What are some other things that you always negotiate prices on?