Monday, December 12, 2011

The Art Of Negotiating

You may have heard the old adage " If you don't ask, you can't receive" well, it's true. We usually will ask for a discount and we will usually get one. It's standard practice to ask for 10% or 15 % off at antique stores or a flea markets.

I have received discounts from pizza places to big box stores. I have learned my skills of negotiating from my husband. He is amazing at getting discounts. I'm amazed every time. He never forgets to ask, especially on big ticket items or for services like auto repairs. Cash will usually get you a discount. If the store doesn't have to pay out the fees associated with credit cards, they have more room to negotiate. Sometimes you have to go to the manager to get the floor model marked down to cost, but it's worth it and it makes their bottom line look better.

Furniture stores and jewelry stores have some of the biggest mark ups. We have never paid retail for furniture. Ask if they have any coupons available at stores or when purchasing items on the phone. Look up coupon codes for online purchases.

We had to go to town to get our battery replaced on our car today. Thank God it was under warranty. We decided to check out a few second hand stores. Number one found an antique Wagner Ware cast iron skillet. It was already a good price, but he asked for a discount and received 50% off. He got the skillet for $6. We were feeling pretty good with a new battery( included a new warranty) and a nice skillet.

Number One's record, however, was when we purchased our truck. They sales manager and staff were laughing when we left, because another penny and they would have had to pay us to take it off the lot. We didn't pay the $100 title fee nor did we pay for all the other fees they try to tack onto the contract. He negotiated add on items like having our goose neck hitch installed. Do your homework. It will pay off. It was time to move that truck off the lot to get ready for the new trucks coming in and they were ready to do that for cost.

We have a small home and I like to keep it as uncluttered as possible, so I have a personal rule when buying items. I only buy things that I can use in everyday life. This rule not only helps with the lack of space, it saves money and cuts down the time it takes to dust all those little trinkets that we are all so fond of. This also helps me appreciate my purchases. Think before you purchase, you may not even need a discount.

I drive by homes that have all their vehicles parked outside in the weather because their garages are so full of all the little trinkets that they couldn't do without. When their garages fill up they rent storage lockers to put more stuff in. I think that the smallest spaces cost $40 a month. That's $480 a year. How much is that stuff worth after the first year? The rent adds up and pretty soon they could buy all new stuff and it will be just as depreciated as it's predecessors.

The next time you feel the need to buy something, don't forget to ask for your discount. Don't forget to ask yourself if you really need it, if you could do something better with the extra money (give to the needy) or should I save for a rainy day? It has been raining a lot lately.....

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