Consumer Reports: how to haggle...and save! - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: how to haggle...and save!

(WMC TV) - When Kaitlyn Deane hits the stores, she never pays full price.

"I love to haggle," she said. "It's nice to bargain down people on certain things that you want to get for yourself."

Most shoppers like her who haggle get a better deal, according to Consumer Reports' shopping guru Tod Marks. Marks and the magazine recently completed a reader survey on the success of haggling shoppers.

"Eighty-nine percent of those who tried haggling for all sorts of goods and services were successful at it," Marks said of the survey results. "Men, well, they enjoyed haggling slightly more than women did, but women were equally as effective when they tried haggling."

The survey found furniture shoppers saved a lot when they haggled:  an average $300. 


Doctor and dentist bills also came down $300 on average when people negotiated, though fewer people tried, according to the survey.

People who haggled for appliances saved an average of $200.

One secret to Kaitlyn Deane's success:  she's not afraid to speak up.

"Recently on a shirt I just purchased, there was a little stain on it, so I asked them for a percentage off, and they gave me 10 percent off," she said.

"The most popular tactic consumers told us that they used to get a discount was to simply tell the salesperson that they're going to check a competitor's prices," Marks said. He added shoppers should research competitive prices before they negotiate.

"The only way you find out what a fair price is, is to check online forums, to check fliers, to check web versus in-the-store prices," he said.

Marks said it also pays to be polite. "Remember, you can catch more flies, and discounts, with honey than you can with vinegar."

Another thing you should always negotiate:  bank and credit card fees. Consumer Reports found people who haggled with their bank or credit card company saved an average $100 when they simply and nicely challenged a fee or charge.

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