"That's my final price." How many times have you heard that? Is it usually the final price? If you're a good haggler, then most likely the answer is no.
But how does a consumer haggle for a better price? Are there specific places that are better to haggle at than others? Is it considered rude to haggle?
Well, it depends. There are certain places where haggling just wont work, and the best places to haggle are usually outdoor markets, small businesses, and garage sales. Here, haggling is almost a necessity and the vendors are expecting it. If you pay full price for anything here, you're paying too much.
Haggling itself is almost like an intricate cat and mouse game. The vendor is trying to get as much of your money as possible, and you're trying to keep as much of it as you can. Finding the right price that's reasonable for both of you is as much of an art form as anything else, and takes a lot of tenacity and being able to pick up cues.
The following are a few of the best and most proven ways of haggling for a better deal:
1) Be confident and stand your ground: If you're wary or seem like you're not comfortable, it'll be a dead giveaway and the shop owner won't budge. Make eye contact, look the wares over, and tell them how much you'd like to pay—except that it isn't what you'd LIKE to pay, but that's what you WILL pay. The owner will most likely scoff at the price, but stand your ground and tell them that it's your final price. Anything after that is a negotiation.
2) Shop around: Know what the deals are next door and how much the guy at the end of the street is selling the same stuff for. It's a great tool when bargaining because it shows that you have some knowledge about what the price should be, and that you're not afraid to shop elsewhere. Trust me, they want your business and they will almost always negotiate.
3) Be friendly and joke around: Smile, make a few jokes and get the shop keeper to like you. Tell them they have great stuff and get them on your side. When you want something at a lower price than marked, they'll be more receptive of you and more likely to accede to the lower price.
4) Start off small: Make the first price you offer slightly lower than what you're actually willing to pay. The owner will scoff and insist on the original price. That's when you slowly move the price towards what you actually want to pay and stick there. Negotiation will usually turn out to work in your favor.
5) Be discreet: The worst thing to do when haggling is to broadcast it to all the other customers. Shop keepers may be willing to haggle with you, but when all their customers start asking for discounts, they can brush you off and become angry. Ask the shopkeeper in lower tones how much he can give you the object for, and what he can do for you. If you keep it subtle and don't go overboard, they will usually relent.
6) Buy in bulk: If you buy more than one thing, you have better leverage when haggling. You can slash the prices of things nearly in half the more you buy, since the shop keeper wants to get rid of much merchandise and make as much money as possible. Make deals with them and let them know if they give you the special price, you'll buy two or three of them. That's usually the clincher.
7) Know when to walk away: Sometimes, no matter how good you are, haggling simply wont work. Some people just won't budge, and you know what? That's ok. If your heart is really set on a particular item, then go ahead, get it at full price. But know that it's always ok to walk away. There are plenty of other shops, after all.