The Rebirth Of Haggling?

The aisles of Best Buy, Home Depot, and other retail stores are beginning to look more like a Turkish bazaar. Haggling is back, baby, at least based on some initial reports we’ve heard. People are talking about being able to say to walk into a retail store and say to sales people, “Hmm, I like, but it’s a little more than I was hoping to pay. Can’t you do any better on the price?” It seems the salesmen have some wiggle room on the price, especially if you opt for the extended warranty package. I’m helping out a reporter at a large publication, so if this has happened to you and you’re willing to share your story on the record, drop me a line at ben@consumerist.com or leave a comment along with your contact info.

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  1. homerjay says:

    Thats been possible all along. Its just that people are now willing to actually give it a try.
    I was doing this for customers back in the early 90’s

  2. Elvisisdead says:

    I’ve had a pretty decent amount of success doing it with open box and display items. Also with car audio.

  3. jaydez says:

    I used to work for AT&T Wireless and they used to let us haggle on price of the device. When it became Cingular that pretty much stopped. All merchandise prices were at the discression of the MOD.

  4. matto says:

    The important detail here is that you always have to buy the extended warranty. Since it’s all profit margin for the store, of course they’ll be glad to give you a “better deal” on it. I’m not sure why being ripped off slightly less is a story.

  5. lonewolf333 says:

    Whats the point of haggling if you have to buy the extended warranty package?

  6. SOhp101 says:

    I love haggling for medium-large ticket items. You will usually have a better chance of haggling with the manager instead of a salesperson, and you have to remember to create a situation where it’s a win/win for everyone for haggling to actually work.

  7. ryatziv says:

    When I was with Sprint, I was doing that all the time. That was the tradeoff for their horrid customer service.

  8. freshyill says:

    When I worked at Best Buy in 2002/2003, there was no such thing. The exception was open box merchandise, and that was very rare. You’re going to get people’s hopes up with a story like this, and then they’ll all run to their local big box retailer and annoy the living shit out of the underpaid people who work there.

  9. desert-real says:

    Guitar center – I was scoping prices for a new midi keyboard controller. I asked the sales guy a few questions about the keyboard, he gave me a price – i wasn’t sure, had to think about it, etc., and before i really had a chance to think, he knocked $40 off – dropping it far below the best online price I’d seen. Over-zealous sales guy trying to make a sale, or savvy sales guy knowing I’d be off to the land of free shipping and comparative cyber shopping if he didn’t snag me…(he did). After tax (yr welcome local public schools) – still $15 cheaper than best online price.

  10. midwestkel says:

    @freshyill

    I agree.

  11. mopar_man says:

    @freshyill:

    Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I’ve bought several items cheaper than advertised. Sometimes it’s haggling, sometimes it’s knowing the salesperson. And how is it annoying them? It gets people in the door to make a sale. So you drop the price $1 and it gets them to buy something instead of refusing to budge and losing a sale.

  12. Tux the Penguin says:

    @lonewolf333: Well, say the extended warranty is $100. If you are able to get them to bring the price on the actual object by $80, you’re essentially getting the warranty for $20. For large items, such as big HDTV’s, an additional two years of coverage could be worth it. It just depends on how much risk you’re willing to take.

    /CPA off.

    As a consumer, it’s still a ripoff.

  13. B says:

    I hate haggling, and I really hate having to haggle to avoid the feeling that I’m getting ripped off.

  14. Elvisisdead says:

    The point is, just like everything else, you only get it if you ask for it. The problem comes in where customers believe that haggling is possible when it actually isn’t.

    For smaller ticket items, haggling takes the form of price comparison using pricegrabber, etc. Usually haggling will only work if there’s an incentive on the part of the sales person to do so. For non-commission work, it’s almost nil. Probably more successful at the end of the month or quarter on a larger item to help someone meet a sales goal.

    Also way more effective at sole proprietor retail outlets.

    @freshyill If “annyoing the living shit” out of someone constitutes simply asking for a better price, there’s something wrong. Employees are there for customer service, and it’s simply a question. If the answer is “no” then beat feet or buy it. No annoying necessary.

  15. ancientsociety says:

    Of course haggling is “back”, all the illegal immigrants are trying to feel like they’re in their home country again.

    (sorry, obligatory after yesterday’s post)

  16. mgy says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Morocco, the capital of haggling. My girlfriend was very timid and got ripped off quite a few times before she finally got the hang of it. I let it happen so that she’d learn.

    There are a few things you need to know when haggling, especially in foreign countries. First, never haggle if you have no intention of paying for the item – this is just rude. Second, half the price and see their reaction. Then go up from there. Most people will try to haggle down from the price that the seller sets. That puts the ball in their court. Instead, work up from the price that you offered them and the dealer is usually much happier. Third, and finally, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WALK AWAY FROM A PURCHASE AT A PRICE YOU DO NOT WANT TO PAY. This is the number one way to get a shopkeeper to run after you and offer it to you at an extremely discounted price. They know people get into haggling struggles on items they really want and have emotional attachments to – so it’s easy to make them pay exorbitant amounts. Don’t let them do this to you.

    That’s pretty much it :. Be firm and direct, too.

  17. qwickone says:

    @matto: can’t you return the extended warranty for a full refund anyway?

  18. Michael Belisle says:

    @freshyill: I disagree. At my Best Buy in 2000, managers were happy to haggle when the customer bought a complete home-theater system with all the service plans and monster cable. “Look at all this money we saved you today!” (Salespeople didn’t have the authority, so it depends on how the manager runs the ship. Also worthwhile to try on open box items, which may be “incorrectly priced”.)

    Meanwhile, at a store with commissioned salespeople, the salesperson is very likely willing to cut into the commission to make a big sale.

    We also haggle for airline tickets (sort of, via priceline), credit card interest rates, cell phone service plans, automobiles, tires, and countless other things.

    I don’t think haggling was ever dead. On life support maybe, but not dead.

  19. stageright says:

    I’ve recently done this with my cell provider (Metro PCS) for a new phone and free “extra services”, Comcast to get a “lease fee” waived and free HBO and my leasing office to get my rent reduced on renewal by $20 a month and retain the expiring “free washer dryer” – total value $55/month :)

    Oh, and with Tivo – got an upgrade from a standard replacement remote to the cooler back lit learning remote.

    These days, I’m haggling on everything, all over the place :)

  20. stageright says:

    Heh. Forgot my contact info – but it’s in my profile.

  21. Michael Belisle says:

    @qwickone: Yes, but it won’t be fun when they call over the manager that cut you a deal (which corporate tracks because it’s an override). They used the invoice in my day, so any customer service person would know this was a special case.

  22. stageright says:

    @Michael Belisle: I think a lot of “regular” people couldn’t be bothered to do it – which was actually a lot better for those of us that did.

    If everyone starts doing it, then prices will all jump. I loved shopping when I was in India for a few months, but you *knew* that every price was inflated 400% because you were an American. It was fun while I was there, but I’d hate to have to go through that ever single day…

  23. backbroken says:

    I can offer no advice on haggling at Best Buy. But when haggling overseas, if you haven’t walked away and been chased down by the shopkeep, then you haven’t gotten the best price.

    I think the same thing works at US car dealerships too, btw.

  24. redhelix says:

    @Michael Belisle: On cars, haggling has always been going strong. I mean, who on earth pays sticker price?

  25. Michael Belisle says:

    @mgy: Is the pricing in Morrocco anything like the tourist bazaars in Mexico, where a set of maracas (quite possibly made in China at $2/pop) are “$50″?

  26. xip says:

    I haven’t tried to haggle at Best Buy much. The sales people don’t seem to have any leverage, although I’m sure the managers could arrange something. One place where you CAN haggle is at HH Gregg though. I have done it several times.

  27. RumorsDaily says:

    It’s not my story, so I can’t go on the record for you, but my dad was buying two new TVs at Best Buy and asked the clerk if he could get any discount for buying two. The clerk said no, so my dad asked him to ask his boss. He left, came back, and offered 5% off. Victory over Bets Buy!

  28. Prince of Zemunda says:

    I worked at Best Buy in 1999 we were told not haggle at all. The managers wouldn’t even listen to us if we called them about lowering the price. The only exception was open box items.

    When I worked at Circuit City (2000-2002) in the good ol’ commission days we would haggle on large purchases especially if the customer bought the extended warranty and overpriced monster cable. Sometimes we could haggle on smaller items but it meant we would take the hit on commission in order to build rapport. For the most part I would try to help out the people who were buying a TV, surround sound and all the accessories. It was the people that wanted five bucks off a VCR that pissed me off. It’s one thing to haggle but after I have told you five times we can’t do anything, you should understand my point.

  29. schiff says:

    PC Richards is haggle central. My buddy saved $600 off the purchase of a high end 46″ Sharp LCD TV just by haggling alone. They even threw in one of those uselessly overpriced monster HDMI cables!

  30. dotcomrade says:

    How to haggle from a real pro–

    I saw this segment on the Today Show–their consumer reporter managed to haggle
    and shows you how! (Of course, it helps to go shopping with camera crew)

    (For the article and to watch the full segment, use this link)

    [consumersmarts.ivillage.com]

    In case the link stops working:

    “First…take the oath of “Sale-ibacy.”

    That is, to never pay full price for anything. …TRY to never pay retail!

    Seven tips

    Magic words: Will you take less for this?

    1. Do your homework. You need to negotiate with power. That means come in armed with newspaper ads, online printouts of prices. Then you have some means for negotiation.

    2: Leave your credit card at home and raid the ATM. …cash talks. The vendor doesn’t have to pay fees to the credit card company for your transaction, so there is some wiggle room for lowering the price.

    3: Dress Down. Wear comfy clothes. It could be a long, hard day of bargain hunting. And if you dress too well, with fancy duds and expensive jewelry it’s hard for a retailer to feel sorry for you!

    4. Press the “up” button. Don’t deal with clerks; ask for a manager or store owner. Go right to the top once you’ve figured out how much you want to pay and ask nicely. A store clerk does not have the authority to lower the price.

    5. Don’t be unrealistic: Come in with a fair offer and try your best. Know the marketplace and ask for less than what they are offering. Try not to insult the manager with a very low ball offer.

    6. Be nice: Being obnoxious won’t help you. You can state your price and if there is no deal made, you can start to walk out and see if they come back with a new offer. If not, say “thank you” and move on to the next store.

    7. Don’t be embarrassed: You might as well ask for a deal, all they can say is “no.” Do they know you? Will you ever see them again? Probably not, so why not try?”

  31. ottergal says:

    The first time I bought a DVD player (oh way back when) I went to Video Only and got a good mid-priced DVD player (around $300 at the time) and went home. Only to find that my ancient TV didn’t have the right inputs. So I headed back to Video Only.

    They’d recognized me, we looked at TVs and I found a couple I liked (one in particular) but I wasn’t willing to pay the price (over $300 at that point). The sales person ended up giving me the TV for $300 flat (saved me about $50) and also threw in a set of cables to hook up the DVD player. All in all, he probably saved me $100 or so.

    Did it pay off? Sure. I took my friends there and spent more money over the years.

  32. jochi50 says:

    My wife was able to haggle a small price drop at Best Buy when we bought a big screen tv. She wanted the movie 40 Year Old Virgin and asked the sales guy to throw it in for free, he said no but he lowered the price of the tv by the cost of the DVD.

  33. Michael Belisle says:

    One thing about haggling that should be obvious: the leverage points are tied to how the individual employee is compensated. It has to be a business proposition.

    So that’s why a Best Buy manager might haggle if you’re buying a service plan: the higher-level managers get a bonus that’s tied to service plans.

    I didn’t know that when I worked there, but in retrospect that explains why we were so heavily brainwashed about “every customer, every time” and essentially encouraged not to care about people who didn’t buy service plans. (Fewer non-PSP sales means higher PSP sales rates!) That wasn’t an attitude that came from corporate.

  34. BugMeNot2 says:

    @mgy:

    “Second, half the price and see their reaction. Then go up from there. Most people will try to haggle down from the price that the seller sets. “

    As my father-in-law always says, “You can always turn around and offer them more, but you can’t turn around and offer them less.” (conversely, if you’re the one selling, you want to set your price high, because you can always walk down the scale, but once you’re at a price, you can’t get the buyer to agree to higher)

    Honestly, between f-i-l and my mom, I’ve never seen two people who can haggle more (of course, that’s not what they call it, but polite company dictates not using their word.) I remember growing up, it seemed like mom would never just buy something.

    I used to get embarassed, because it didn’t matter where we were, she had to dicker over the price.

    Unfortunately, I take after my dad, who’s not comfortable trying to haggle. The best I can do is the still-in-rip-me-off-but-not-as-bad land of “What’s the lowest you’ll take for this?”

  35. WraithSama says:

    My father told me a funny story about a co-workers of his.

    His clips for his sun visors in his car had broken, and he called the dealership for replacements. He was told replacements were $12 each. He then asked the guy he was talking to, “How much is it with your employee discount?” What balls! Funnily enough, not only did he get the guy’s employee discount, he managed to haggle another discount, getting both clips for $8 total, instead of the original $24 total.

    When he hung up, my dad told him he was pretty balsy for doing that, to which his friend replied, “The worst the guy could have done is said no.”

    Moral of the story: it never hurts to ask for a better deal; usually the worst you can do is pay what you were expecting to pay to begin with.

  36. Big Poppa Pimp says:

    @schiff: Deals are definitely there for the taking at PC Richard and the extended warranty is not necessarily part of the package. I only had to ask politely and firmly and was rewarded with discounts every time- I will never set foot in CC or BB ever again.

  37. Michael Belisle says:

    @WraithSama: If I were your dad, I would have said something more like “Seriously, you haggled over a $24 purchase? Don’t you have something better to do?”

    I guess the nickels and dimes adds up over time, but 45 seconds of my time and mental energy is worth more than that.

  38. kingofmars says:

    Just yesterday I was in Lowes home improvement, and I heard a sales man tell a couple he could knock down the price of an appliance, if they got the extended warranty. He explained he makes more on the extended warranty. The couple wanted the warranty anyway, so it worked out for everyone.

  39. sue_me says:

    I hate haggling. It’s annoying. If I ever end up buying a car, I’m going in with a price I’m willing to pay, writing up an offer, putting an X before the signature line, and saying “This is the price I’m willing to pay. The price is non-negotiable. Go talk to your manager. You have 10 minutes.” If they don’t come back with a satisfactory answer in 10 minutes, then see ya. My time is extremely valuable and I’m not gonna spend it haggling with some underpaid salesperson.

    I have a set price I’m willing to pay. I’ll name that price and if the dealer can’t make it work, then I’m going somewhere else. There’s no reason to go back and forth for hours on end when I know in my mind there’s a maximum price I’m willing to pay.

  40. Thain says:

    On the retail side of things, nothing is more annoying than a customer who comes in with an offer that is such a low-ball that you can’t help but laugh at them. I had a customer ask me today if I could knock a massive quantity off of the price of two computers ($325 each). These were not super-high-end, priced for people with more money than brains systems, either…with the amount he was asking us to knock off, he would have very nearly been able to buy a third identical system.

    When I rebuffed him repeatedly, he told me I did not understand the art of negotiation, and that I was very good at “running off potential customers.” That’s a sale I’m not sorry to lose, because I don’t appreciate haggling. This wasn’t someone who politely asked for a discount and accepted the fact that our company does not haggle (and doesn’t charge a price that’s worth haggling over, anyway)…it was someone demanding a ludicrous discount because “it doesn’t cost you that much.”

    Not only that, but the amount he expected us to knock off the computers meant the computer would have cost him less than it cost us to build, test, and ship. Sure, there are some countries where haggling is the norm, but America is not one of them (except in ridiculous cases like buying cars, where it really SHOULDN’T be the norm).

  41. LeeterSkeeter says:

    Cash speaks. I asked for a cash discount at my Honda dealership for a 60k mile tune-up. The guy said he’d never had anyone ask for that before but “heck, I’ll give you 5% off.” It also helps to do a tune-up in January.

  42. Parapraxis says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    45 seconds, saved $4.

    That’s about $320 an hour.

    I liken this to clipping coupons. If you clip for things you need, you can save 10-15% for only 15 minutes worth of work.

  43. ironchef says:

    Gawd I HATE haggling.

    why does EVERYTHING in life has to be like a frickin car dealership?

  44. riverstyxxx says:

    This reminds me of an old monty python bit. Anyone know what im talking about?

  45. Michael Belisle says:

    @Parapraxis: You left out the “mental energy” penalty, which for me is -$500/hour. Thus, the transaction would cost me $-180/hour.

    More seriously, everybody has their price at which they’re willing to do something. For me, the magnitude of each item has to pass a threshold before it’s worth my time:

    I would not enjoy spending an hour haggling over various $12 items. If I averaged $4/item, I’d spend $640 to save $320 and would argue 80 purchases in one hour. (Note that the customer really saved $8, but it certainly took longer than 45 seconds.)

    And 25¢ on milk (or 3¢/gallon on gas) isn’t it for me to spend time clipping coupons. (However, 2 medium pizzas for the price of one is, so I won’t say I don’t glance at them.)

  46. StevieD says:

    Haggling?

    Take your business someplace else.

    My employees have their marching orders. Adjust the price and loose your job.

    I set my prices. My widgetmaster 3000 is $13,345. You want it, buy it. If you can find it cheaper elsewhere, by all means please buy it there. By the way, I know the selling prices of my competition. I also know my operating costs. If I could sell the item for less money I would. Most importantly if I could sell the item for less money to YOU then I would sell it to EVERYBODY for the lower price.

  47. Michael Belisle says:

    @StevieD: What kind of a shop are you running that $13,345 for a Widgetmaster 3000 is totally inflexible? I’ve seen those for $12,000 all over town.

  48. StevieD says:

    A word from the boss.

    Just HAVING to talk to me so that you can get a better price is demeaning to my employees.

    The first priority in any business is making money.

    The second priority (at least for me) is taking care of the employees. Fair wages, appropriate benefits and good working conditions are key to employee retention. I have mothers and fathers encouraging their children to apply for a job with me. I must be doing something right. One thing I do right is giving the employee the authority to take care of the customer. There is a lot more to products than the price and those other tasks are the responsibility of the employee.

    See the key words… authority and responsibility.

    I set the rules, the employees complete the tasks within the guidelines and rules that I established.

    By passing the employee is demeaning to the employee.

    Remember my #2 goal is taking care of the employee. #2 might get in the way of #1 goal, but I am also a big picture guy. Replacing a valuable employee is more difficult than gaining a sale.

    Go ahead, ask for the employees supervisor. I will support the employee over the customer any day of the week.

    Oh, and the widgetmaster 3000 is on sale at my closest competitor for 13,980. Bypass my employees and the widgemaster 3000 is going to cost you $635 more.

  49. StevieD says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    Nah, my closest competition is $635 higher.

    But the Widgetmaster dealer in Seattle has the unit for $12,960.

    I will give him a call and tell him you are coming. Remember, bring your trailer, the widgetmaster 3000 is 13′ long and weighs 5400 lbs.

    See, I know my market.

    There is a difference between small, lightweight consumer products (like a DVD player) and buying a refrigerator. The cheap price on a ‘fridge in another city is offset by the hauling costs.

  50. StevieD says:

    @ironchef:

    Business doesn’t have to be like a used car dealership.

    Hey, I am like the next guy, I love deals. But I like to be treated the same as the next guy.

    If stores did a bit of “you are 30 and cute so you pay $30, but that guy over there is another race and ugly so he pays $40″ there would be a huge cry of discrimination. Yet different prices for different people is almsot always based upon social-economic factors. The “guide” talks of dressing down. Why? Because Haggling is based upon social-economic factors.

    If this country really wants to prove that a black man can be elected President then this country needs to stop using the phrase “black man” and stop classing people with different prices for different people.

  51. @sue_me: Err… that WAS haggling, just on shorter, less flexible terms.

  52. Women haggle all the time: it’s called flirting.

  53. sue_me says:

    Well, my point is I refuse to do the back and forth thing. It’s so beneath my dignity. I have a price I’m willing to pay. If you can’t make it work, I’m going someplace else. Period. Case closed. No ifs, ands or buts. If they come back with a counteroffer, I’m going someplace else. I’m more like, “bidding”.

    Haggling requires that you’re willing to concede to make the deal. I’m saying, if you can’t make the deal work, you don’t want my business badly enough, and therefore I’m leaving. I’ll be mentioning up front that my terms are not negotiable. It’s not a negotiation. It’s a final, take it or leave it offer.

  54. Michael Belisle says:

    @StevieD: Thanks for the offer to help, but I already talked to them. I’m in Tacoma, so it’s really not that far. The owner said he’d load it up on his flatbed and spend a few hours with me going over the operation procedure. Gave me his cell phone number too, in case I have in problems.

    I like businesses that gives me the illusion of control. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. This is “The Consumerist”, after all.

  55. NewPerfection says:

    I worked at Lowe’s for a while (and will be again for a short while). I can go on the record saying that I had customers haggle with me, sometimes successfully. For smaller ticket items I wouldn’t go for it, it’s just stupid. But for people wanting to buy a lot, or a big ticket item, I would sometimes give them a slight discount. The most I could give without manager approval was around 10%, and with the average profit margin being around 30-35%, Lowe’s definitely doesn’t lose out on anything. The biggest thing that I haggled with customers on is plants. Many times they would start to look kind of ragged, considering how hard it is to keep all the plants looking really nice. Those we would often discount if the customer asked.

    It really bugged me though when people would expect me to give them discounts on anything they asked for. If I say I can’t or won’t give a discount, then I won’t. Stop asking. There have been a few times when I’ve had to get a manager to come over and tell people that they can’t authorize a discount.

  56. StevieD says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    Tacoma?

    No wonder you wouldn’t want to buy from me. I am East Coast. You do you realize that the factory for the widgemaster 3000 is in Portland. No, not Portland Maine, Portland Oregon. So freight costs are far cheaper to the West Coast than the East Coast.

    The important fact is that you got the widgemaster 3000. I am sure you will be happy with it. My wife really likes hers.

  57. smallestmills says:

    I WILL NOT haggle with customers. I work at a corporation so I don’t have to waste my time haggling over prices set by my corporation. Don’t like it, too bad, we don’t have competition and our goods are branded. You shop our store because you love our brand. The price is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
    I don’t haggle when I shop because it’s bad karma for my retail job. Also, I’m not going to dick around for 10 minutes to save 10%. It’s worth my money to be able to walk in, pay, and leave, with no dicking over the price.

  58. arcticJKL says:

    Funny I love haggling except for cars.
    Of course I know that you can haggle at some places but not at others. I try to shop where I can haggle if I want to. I wish more stores would be willing to discount me half of what they pay to the CC company for paying with cash.

  59. Maulleigh says:

    I don’t like this. I’m not a haggler as I have no idea the inherent value of anything. And I’d hate to insult someone. I work for myself, and if someone were to hear my hourly rate and then try to half it, I’d think they were a cheap bastard and tell them to go eff themselves thank you very much.

  60. Youthier says:

    I’m not a haggler… I just get too embarrassed about it but my grandpa is the master. I’m not sure he’s ever paid full price for anything outside of Aldi’s. He’s had brand new loaded Cadillacs that he’s gotten at insane prices.

    I’ve only haggled on accident – my husband and I found the perfect wedding band at a jewelry store and it wasn’t even that pricey but we had to wait a couple more weeks to get it so we could pay cash. We went to leave the store and they offered us a $175 markdown. SOLD!

    I have gone to Best Buy before with a coupon for a big ticket item that doesn’t apply to that item and said, “I’d like this TV and I’d like to use this coupon” and gotten the discount. But I don’t think of that as haggling because I would have bought the TV not matter what.

  61. scraejtp says:

    I tried to do a price match at BestBuy to walmart for an Xbox 360 controller. I had a gift card so I wanted to buy from BestBuy, but I noticed Walmart had the price at $40 online, while it was $50 at BestBuy.
    So I went in there and tried to price match, but I didn’t realize that Walmart’s price online doesn’t match in store. The salesman called local Walmarts and they only offered the controller for $50.
    I said thanks, but I’ll just buy elsewhere and was going to save my gift card for something else. The salesman offered me it for $45 and I agreed. Not a huge price jump or anything, but still 10% off was nice.

  62. Rode2008 says:

    When attempting to negotiate price for products that have “extended warranties” available, ALWAYS go for the “extended warranty” and then just cancel it the next day. Also, when attempting to negotiate for cell phones, ALWAYS buy additional options (cases, car chargers, holster, etc.) and then just return those items the next day. Also, when buying cell phones, ALWAYS sign up for the high text messaging plans, data plans, etc. and then just cancel those plans the next day.

    Another good tip is to buy electronics (DVD players, etc.), return them the next day – after opening them – claiming that they do not work – refuse a replacement by suggesting that oyu’ve lost faith in the brand because it was “dead on arrival”. Then have a friend go in the following day to buy it – it will be marked down because it was a return.

    Whenever you have a pizza delivered, call within 10 minutes of delivery and claim that the pizza was burned and not edible. You will get a certificate for a free pizza.

    Another good tip it when you shop for clothing, always carry with you a washable ink marker and slightly markup the article of clothing that you’re interested in. Hide any other on display items that are identical in size. Before buying it, call to the clerk’s attention that the article is stained. Swapping it out for another will be impossible – since you hid the others. You can always get some money off the price. Then, all you need to do is wash the stain off after you get it home.

    Feigning heart attacks (severe angina) is a good way to get a free meal at a restaurant.

    At outdoor food stands (e.g., hot dog stands) cough on the food – some phlegm is always good to spew on the food – then negotiate on the price of the hot dog.

  63. ? Final ? says:

    There are two stores I take my wife to, one is owned by this really nice guy from India and the other by a Lebeonese family. They’re mark ups are ridiculous but if nobody else is in the store they practically give it away. All I have to do is look moderately interested and they’ll just ask, “OK, how much you got?”

  64. No thanks. I prefer the time honored tradition of trading livestock and family members for game systems and TVs.

  65. Michael Shuttleworth says:

    I ran into an old friend that says he went into Home Depot and they had a clearance on a reciprocating saw that was marked down to $39. He asked how many they had and the guy said they had 20 of them, and that they are on clearance to try and get rid of that model. He said he would give $400 for all 20 of em. The guy came back with his manager and they went to the customer service desk…a few keystrokes later…he said OK! Needless to say he is an Ebayer.