Earlier this year, Amazon began offering one of the very few categories of items not already available from the mega-retailer: collectibles, including the famous Saddle Ridge Hoard of rare gold coins. This may or may not catch on with Amazon shoppers, but raises an interesting question: what if you could easily make an offer on any item on Amazon, or even any item for sale online? [More]
If you’ve buried yourself in credit card debt and are strangled by your payments, you can try to work out a better deal by negotiating with the companies you owe. Some smooth talking might net you lower rates, more manageable payments and more time to pay up. [More]
Losing your cool and taking business transactions personally are excellent ways to turn customer service representatives against you, making sure you’ll have a tough time getting your way. You’ll need to play it cool to give yourself your best shot at success. [More]
A hotel’s room rate is only the base price of your stay. The industry pulses with ways to stick you with a bevy of fees you may not see coming. [More]
You never know when an opportunity to haggle might present itself when you’re out shopping, as our reader Marty demonstrates. He was able to get a 10% discount on a blazer at Macy’s just by asking the clerk at the register. [More]
Michael says T-Mobile stuck him with a costly pre-paid “flex” account because he had poor credit. He agreed with the assurance that if he paid his bills on time for a year he’d be able to switch his service to a more reasonable plan. But when the time came, the tele-CSRs denied him. Just when Michael was about to lose his cool, he went into a T-Mobile store for some face time. And the move paid off. [More]
Michael S. Rosenwald saved $15 on a pair of shoes at Macy’s, $3 on a steak at Giant, $6 on a DVD set at Best Buy, and $100 off his next Verizon bill (plus a 10% discount on future bills) during one week spent haggling. In this Washington Post article, he describes how it felt to switch from the habit of paying full retail to looking at a price tag as a “suggestion,” in the words of one expert he met with. The executives Rosenwald spoke with repeatedly said that bargaining is not standard practice, but that didn’t stop employees and managers from making deals in order to close the sale. [More]
Quick, go buy scalped tickets while it’s still illegal to sell them for more than $2 over face value. The New York law allowing unlimited markups on scalped tickets expired last week, and Governor David Paterson has yet to sign an extension bill passed by the legislature. TicketsNow and StubHub are, of course, ignoring the law, because they’ve never been big fans of little things like laws or decency.
Want an extra $1,000? The Wall Street Journal has a list of seven things that you can easily stop buying without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Too often, when we post about undeserved credit card rate hikes, a few readers will justify the credit card company’s actions by pointing out that the OP is, in pure business terms, a bad customer. If you’re a consumer, this is the worst way to visualize your business relationship with your credit card company. Here’s why.
Beverly, who always pays on time and recently started paying off her balance in full every month, just saw the rate on her Capital One card more than double, from 13.9% to 29.4%. That’ll teach you to not help sink the economy, Beverly!
Nicole was hit with a surprise 6 point interest rate increase on her Citicard, so she fought back. Her story is a good reminder that you should look at all of your options and be prepared to argue on your behalf, even if you’re not in a position where you can just pay off the entire balance and walk away.
David didn’t have the money to pay his account (for some mystery service—we don’t know what), so he decided to see if they’d accept a drawing instead. Turns out they won’t. The email exchange that follows is hilarious, and much more entertaining for both parties than the old put-the-wrong-check-in-the-envelope trick.
Over a quarter-million passengers were bumped from flights in the past eight months, a number that is set to grow as airlines try to boost anemic profits by slashing fleets. The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate bumped passengers with cash or vouchers, but savvy passengers can leverage their situation to negotiate heftier payments…
Ron Burley, the man behind “Unscrewed: The Consumersï¿½ Guide to Getting What You Paid For,” has published two articles on how to effectively deal with customer service reps. On the Do Not Want side, you shouldn’t threaten legal action, because it will likely shut down any further communication as the company goes into automatic CYA mode. (You don’t want to tip your hand about any legal action anyway.) What you should say is “Thank you,” because being nice might help you stand out among the parade of complainers.
Want to improve your ability to read the other person in a negotiation? Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent turned author who’s making the requisite publicity circuit to promote his book, knows all about body language, and in this multimedia slideshow on WashingtonPost.com he explains some of the most common ones. He notes, “Our feet are probably our most accurate indicators of how we feel about things,” which is funny because I’ve never been able to flip anyone off with my toes.