If you are like most shoppers, chances are you don't enjoy haggling. But smart shoppers know the art of getting a deal.
Laura Fiedler gets cold feet when it comes to asking for discounts.
"I've never negotiated," she said.
But Pam Jackson rarely shops without seeing if she can get a discount.
She calls herself a "natural haggler."
We found her getting an extra markdown on light bulbs while hardware shopping, just because she asked, and they had been sitting on the shelf for months, unsold.
"I got a deal on a deal," she said.
This mom of 3 says it's worth trying. "Why not ask, because all they can say is no," she said.
Times to Ask for a Lower Price
So when should you ask for a discount?
We turned to the money savings website Wisebread.com, and shopping blogger Nedra McDaniel.
"Definitely ask for a deal if it is an open box item," she said. So if it's already out of the box, they can definitely give you a discount," she said.
McDaniel -- who writes a travel and shopping blog called "Adventure Mom" -- came up with nine times you should always ask for a markdown.
- 1. When you pay cash for a big item.
- 2. When a product is not exactly as described in the ad.
- 3. Anytime an item has a scratch.
"If it has a scuff mark, or if it has some wear on it, where it doesn't look 100 percent, then definitely talk to a manager and ask for a discount," she said.
McDaniel loves shopping for clothes....and is not afraid to ask for a markdown if anything doesn't look right.
"If an item has damage, or if its missing an item on it, missing a piece or a button, you can ask for a discount too."
She says always with some products, you should always try to haggle.
Which leads to:
- 4. Cars, both new and used. Dealers expect you to haggle.
- 5. Furniture, especially beds.
- 6. Large appliances. Their list prices are set extra high, so that stores have room to lower them for sales.
There are other times to ask for a discount, that have nothing to do with a particular product in a store.
- 7. When you get poor service at a restaurant: Ask the manager for some money off.
- 8. When your concert or theater seats stink, such as an obstructed view of the stage.
- 9. When the business may be going out of business, such as a company closing some stores.
Those are just some of the times when you should not be afraid to ask for a discount.
That's what Pam Jackson just did on her hardware purchase, and she's proud of it. "Oh awesome, everything under 10 bucks, you can't beat it!"
To get a feel for haggling, start at a small mom and pop store, like appliance or hardware store.
Once you get more confident, don't be afraid to ask for a discount at big box stores, or even the mall, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese )