Friday, April 27, 2007

Deal or No Deal: In-Store Negotiations

Why is it okay to negotiate over price at car dealerships, but not for furniture at a national chain? We've learned to ask (politely) for lower prices when shopping for everyday items and gadgets. Here's a short rundown of bargaining opportunities:

1) Large department stores and regional chains: The managers may be aware of unadvertised sales or may have special discretion to offer additional discounts.

2) Furniture stores: Some friends of mine recently cut a favorable deal for furniture and delivery at a Rooms to Go outlet.

3) Flea markets and garage sales: The best deals are late in the day.

4) Electronics stores: Consider this: My husband purchased a portable DVD for one of our sons. (My son used a $50 gift card and other cash gifts (from us and others) to finance the purchase.) The $149 sticker price for the battery-operated, 7-inch DVD player was slightly more than my son had saved.

Via cell phone, I told my husband to ask the store manager about future promotions for DVD players. We would just wait for the lower price.

"Hey, if the only thing holding you back is price, I can go lower," the store manager said.He offered $119 and my husband accepted! By the way, the manager explained that peers at his store and many others have authority to cut deals with inquiring consumers!



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