You’d be surprised at how many times you can drive the price down with a bit of tactful negotiating.
And, the success rate is shockingly high: 89% of people who have haggled were rewarded at least once, the Consumer Reports National Research Center found.
However, too many of us simply refuse to ask for a better deal — from 2010-2013, only 48% of people actually tried to bargain, that same survey found.
It can never hurt to ask, especially with these 13 costs:
If you're a member of one of those families in which all the siblings end up attending the same school, personal finance blogger Len Penzo points out that some colleges are known to give discounted tuition or financial aid when multiple family members attend.
No siblings? Forbes suggests leveraging a high GPA for more scholarship money instead.
Mortgage rates are fair game for bargaining -- with a little legwork. 'Shop around, get quotes, make sure your credit score is stellar, and you should be able to talk about lowering things like processing fees,' Gachman writes.
If you have strong credit, use that as leverage -- credit score is one of the most important factors in determining your mortgage rate.
Stop throwing out unsolicited credit card offers, and instead start using them to bargain for a better interest rate from your current credit card company.
Penzo suggests simply picking up the phone and asking whether they will match their competitors' prices.
Not everyone knows exactly how to go about bargaining with a car salesperson. After all, they do this for a living, and chances are you don't. Gachman says that to throw sellers off their game, you should 'never, ever act impressed with anything they show you. Apathy is key here.'
She also recommends asking for some extras with the car. 'You should ask them to cover the cost of any registration and DMV fees, and try to get them to throw in the first month's payment as well (as long as you're putting money down). If they balk, in a very firm tone reply, 'Well, I don't want to have to walk out of here, but ...'' she writes. 'They definitely don't want you to walk off; they want you to drive off -- in the car they have just sold you.'
Also, refresh yourself on common tricks car salesmen employ before you head to the dealership.
If you decide to shop locally, Wisebread suggests checking prices online first because smaller shops will sometimes match or even beat online prices.
Don't be shy, either. Len Penzo says it is completely acceptable to ask for extras such as balancing, mounting, stems, and an extended warranty.
According to MainStreet, you're more likely to get a better price if you rent from a smaller company or an individual and if you pay your rent in advance. Sometimes offering services, such as taking on yard work or small repairs yourself, can help, too.
MainStreet also writes that one of your most powerful bargaining tools when it comes to rent is your ability to walk away from a deal that you don't think is worth it.
As expensive as medical and hospital bills are, they're open to negotiation -- as long as you take a stand within 90 days of your service.
In fact, there are even professionals who negotiate with hospitals on patients' behalf. (You can find them on sites such as Medical Billing Advocates of America.)
According to Next Avenue, most cash discounts come from agreeing to pay your medical bill all at once, and even if you can't get a discount, you can also try to get more time to pay your bill. Next Avenue has a solid list of strategies to negotiate a medical bill.
When it comes to gyms, managers realise that there's a lot of competition and that you could just choose to exercise on your own for free. Gachman advises using both of those facts to your advantage when asking whether a gym manager will reduce the cost of registration or monthly fee.
'If they're being tough, tell them you're going to march, jog, do plyometric hops, or sprint over to a rival gym,' she writes. 'That should do the trick.'
You may have the best luck negotiating in March, when gyms are eager to make up for waning memberships, MarketWatch says.
Know that when you walk into a jewellery store -- whether it be private or a chain -- the products in there are usually marked up somewhere between 100% and 300%, according to Penzo.
With that in mind, bargain away, but don't forget to do your homework first. Wisebread advises knowing what the going rates are for the piece you want and determining your own budget in advance.
'Most mattress brands typically come with enormous markups. One notable exception: Tempur-Pedic,' Penzo explains. So when it comes to mattress shopping, you should always try.
If they won't budge on the price of the mattress, ask for extras like free shipping, a complementary box spring, old mattress disposal, pillows, or a bed frame, especially in you're paying with cash, Penzo notes.
If you're looking for bigger ticket items, like a TV or electronics, ask if they have an open box item or display item they could sell you for cheaper.
Similarly, you can always negotiate the price of used items, whether you're shopping at a thrift shop, garage sale, or second-hand clothing store.
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