William Shatner has the right idea as the Priceline Negotiator. How good of a negotiator are you?
Consumer Reports reveals that you can get a better rate on hotels 83% of the time just for the asking. Remember Clark’s mantra: “Wow, that much? You don’t have anything better?”
Turns out it’s not just hotels where you can reap the benefits of negotiation. You can get a lower cell phone bill and better prices on clothing and jewelry about 80% of the time. Ditto for new cars and air fares.
Then you have a 75% chance of negotiating a lower rate when buying an appliance, and a 71% chance when you purchase electronics and furniture.
Credit card fees can be lowered about 60% of the time through deft negotiation. Of course, that particular figure may drop radically in the near future when you consider today’s anemic credit market conditions.
One area where people try to negotiate but usually fail is with medical bills. Yet even so, Consumer Reports says it will still work more than half the time.
Polite persistence is the key to taking advantage of negotiating power. As Consumer Reports says, “Be patient and be nice. Demanding a discount rarely works.” Here are a few additional tips from the magazine:
– Learn how to read the inventory tag on items. This will let you know the date when an item went on the shelf. Stores will be more likely to negotiate on items that have been sitting around.
– Offer to pay cash on the spot and to take the item with you.
– Be willing to walk if you don’t get the deal you want.