Negotiation – It Never Hurts to Ask
This week I would like to talk about negotiation. Pretty much anything is negotiable, in fact you would be surprised how much you can negotiate. You just have to ask! I am going to give you some negotiation tactics, and share a few personal experiences I have had.
1. Be Nice – No matter what! Even though “the consumer/customer is always right,” the supplier/cashier/manager ultimately has the final say. You will get more accomplished if you are kind. Being negative and rude is just going to get you no where.
2. Show Appreciation – Always say “thank you” and show that you appreciate them and their help. I make sure to do this so the person on the other end doesn't feel like I'm cheating them out of something, so hopefully the next person who attempts to do what I just did will have no trouble what so ever.
3. Explanation of Benefits – Sometimes the person on the other end doesn’t see how it will benefit them and the company or business. If you are negotiating prices for a service of some sort, make sure they are aware they could lose your business. Would they rather lose your business than drop their price a little? Probably not.
4. Do Your Homework – Check prices of competitors. When you are negotiating, make sure they know you can get the same service for a lower price elsewhere. Actually have figures in front of you while you are negotiating. If they want your business bad enough, they will work with you.
5. Keep Trying – Sometimes it’s just a matter of talking to the right person. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” They worst that can happen is they say “no” over and over again.
6. Member of Something? – A lot of places and companies offer discounts for certain people: military, teachers, members of elite organizations, etc. I get a lot of random discounts for being a teacher, and my brother and his wife get TONS of military discounts. It doesn't hurt to ask!
Things You Can Negotiate:
2. Cable/Internet Service
4. Returning items to stores without a receipt
There’s plenty more you can negotiate, but I’ve had personal experiences with those above.
Rent – When our lease was expiring, we got a letter in the mail saying our rent was going up $300 to market rent. Yikes! Of course we didn’t want to move (in July in Texas), so I talked to the property manager and said we’d really like to stay but not at the price she gave us. I told her we had priced other apartments and would be saving over $3500 a year if we went elsewhere, and I would be more than willing to move if it meant saving that much. I also kindly reminded her that she won’t have to find another tenant, and we’ve paid our rent every month on time, no late payments. She finally agreed to let us stay for another year at the price we were paying (including a great student discount). This might not be new to you, but some people don’t even bother to ask.
Cable/Internet – When we first got internet, we got the “introductory rate,” and of course when that is over, the price goes up. After the first time our introductory rate expired, my husband called and said we’d really like to stay with their company, but we’d like the introductory rate. Like I said, would they rather lose our business than lower our rate a few dollars? So the CS rep extended our introductory rate – TWICE. We called again, and he let us do it again!
Cars – Of course you can negotiate a price on a car. That’s not news to anyone – however, I do know a guy who bought a truck at the sticker price. He walked into the lot, pointed to the car he wanted, signed the papers, and drove off with his new car. I was slightly appalled because he could have saved several thousand dollars, not to mention interest, had he negotiated just a little. There are several techniques used for negotiating the price of a car (which could be another FF post later on…hint, hint). You can go through the fleet department, you can fax different dealerships to see what their lowest price is, then go from there. One car purchase, my grandpa did that, and 1 guy said he couldn’t go lower than a certain price, so he went elsewhere and the other salesman went lower than the first guy. So he bought the car from salesman #2. A few weeks later, the guy from the first dealership called and asked my grandpa if he was still interested in purchasing a car, and my grandpa had to tell him he already purchased from someone else. The guy said “well I could have beat his price, you should have come back to me.” My grandpa said, “I asked you to give me your lowest price, and you didn’t. So you lost my business.” Let’s just say the guy was slightly embarrassed. (My grandpa loves telling this story).
Returning items without a receipt – If you have an item that you haven’t used that maybe you got at your wedding, shower, birthday, Christmas…and you would like to return it but don’t have a receipt, call the store and ask. They might have a return policy where you HAVE to have a receipt, but they might not. You can call the store and ask for store credit. Not only will they be able to sell the item again for more than they gave you, but you now have a GC from that store, and chances are you will spend more than what’s on the GC. So make sure the store knows that ;)
ANYTHING is negotiable. These are just a few things I’ve had personal experience with. Like I said, the worst that can happen is they say no. But you might be surprised as to what you can accomplish just by asking.
Enjoy the FREE savings?