Negotiating prices is quite an informal culture. It’s a way to bargain so that you pay less or get a better deal. However, it’s not always easy to determine which items come with a set cost. You may be surprised to learn how many products you can at least try to negotiate on before buying.
This article will cover some of the most important purchases to negotiate rather than simply accepting at face value. Knowing this will help you avoid leaving money on the table and spending more than you need to. This is especially important when making a major purchase.
1. Negotiate Car Prices
Most people know that negotiating is an important part of the process when buying a used car or truck, but you should have that same attitude if you’re buying a new one too. Dealers are generally willing to move down from MSRP to make a sale.
Cars are a pricey purchase that you’re expecting to use for at least several years. It’s critical to take the time to research and negotiate for the best price. Don’t just buy the first one you see. It’s often effective to negotiate with a number of dealers online before physically visiting any locations.
With that in mind, contact dealers within a given radius of your home to ask about their price range on the cars you’re interested in. From there, you can narrow down your choices depending on their responses. Having multiple offers gives you more leverage during the negotiation. It also allows you to walk away rather than being forced to pay a higher price or MSRP.
2. Negotiate on Auto Repairs
Just as you can negotiate when buying a car, you can look for good deals on having your car serviced. An honest mechanic who provides consistently good service without overcharging is so valuable.
It’s important to start shopping around for the right mechanic early in your car’s lifespan. Start by asking a few local mechanics for estimates on typical car repairs. This will give you an idea of the price range in your area. Once you have those, continue negotiating with those who provided the best offers.
You’ll be happy you took the time to find a reliable mechanic when something goes wrong with your car. Especially if you need expensive repairs! Negotiating with new mechanics is much more stressful in a high-pressure situation.
The internet is the most important resource for auto repair negotiation. You can typically find information about your make and model with estimates on common parts. This makes it significantly easier to identify a mechanic who’s trying to squeeze you for extra cash. Showing that you know what you’re talking about will make them take you more seriously during negotiations.
3. Bank Fees
Bank and credit card fees can add up to a significant portion of your income. And it’s easy to underestimate how much you’re losing to unnecessary charges. While your experience will depend on your specific bank, many people successfully have fees reduced or even removed entirely.
The simplest way to negotiate fees down is to check your statement each month. Contact your bank’s customer service if you notice any charges. Politely explain the situation and ask if there’s anything you can do. Banks are generally willing to work with you if you have a relatively clean account history.
On the other hand, you can also fight bank and credit card fees by paying a service like Cushion to handle negotiations. Fee negotiation companies only take a part of any money they save you. So there’s not much risk involved in asking them to fight your fees.
4. Monthly Bills Can Be Negotiable
Like bank fees, bills are an extremely common charge that most people don’t realize they have the power to negotiate. In fact, you can often get a discount on a wide variety of bills. You just need to raise the issue with your service provider and ask for a lower price.
Some of the most common bills you can start with include satellite, cable, credit card interest rates, and cell plans. Given how much in extra expenses these can lead to, even a relatively minor discount could have a big impact on your cash flow.
As with bank and credit card fees, you can either contact your own providers or work with a negotiation services. You’ll lose a cut of the savings if you don’t do it yourself. But…you may also have a better chance of getting a lower price if you trust this process to a negotiation service.
If you choose to negotiate your own bills, make sure to do some research before making any calls. Find out the best deals the company currently provides to new subscribers. Then use this information as a starting point for negotiations.
For cell phone service, you may also be able to save simply by switching to a prepaid plan. (Or to a plan that uses less data.)
5. Appliance Purchases
You can’t necessarily negotiate on all appliances, but stores typically have some wiggle room on their most expensive products. These can stay on the floor for a longer period of time. They also come with higher profit margins than more affordable items, so managers are more willing to drop the price in order to make an immediate sale.
The best strategy for negotiating appliance prices is comparing costs at several stores to increase your leverage. Some managers may also give you a bulk discount if you buy several items at once. If this is the case, consider consolidating major purchases into a single trip.
Tactics for haggling on clothes vary widely depending on your price point and where you’re shopping. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get better deals.
You can start by showing the sales people prices on the same item at nearby stores. This can increase the chance that they offer you a discount. This is especially relevant if you’re a regular at a specific store and would prefer to buy the product there.
Negotiation is more straightforward when you’re buying from small or independent clothing shops. That’s because they don’t have the same corporate policies as larger companies. Floor space is particularly valuable for these businesses as they typically don’t have any alternative storage locations for unsold inventory.
If you’re interested in used clothes, there are a wide selection of styles and brands offered by individual sellers online. Platforms like eBay and Grailed feature thriving secondhand clothing markets, and they both allow sellers to accept offers of less than the listed price.
7. Negotiate Your Mortgage Terms
Like many other items on this list, people often assume that the terms of their mortgage are fixed. This is only true to a certain extent. Your available offers will depend on a variety of factors including your income and credit score along with the value of the home. But there can still be significant variance from one lender to another.
Many homeowners are surprised by how much they’re charged for closing costs, but these are the easiest part of a mortgage to negotiate. Closing costs could run you thousands of dollars, so look for as many ways to save as possible.
During the closing process, fees charged by the lender (rather than taxes) are typically more flexible than other costs. So start with those when looking for a more affordable mortgage. Some lenders are willing to waive some of these fees and lower their margins in order to get your business, but others don’t offer the same flexibility. It doesn’t hurt to ask. And it’s always good to have an idea of your options before making a final decision.
Another way to cut down on closing costs is to choose your own third-party providers for common services like appraisal and home insurance. Lenders often prefer to work with a specific provider, but you’re not necessarily obligated to follow their recommendations.
8. Gym Memberships
Gyms are another kind of business that generally advertises a fixed rate, but there’s usually more flexibility than members expect. Most gyms run a variety of offers, particularly for new members. These often have benefits like free months, waived fees, and other perks.
Instead of simply accepting your current fees, check out your gym’s best prices as your renewal date approaches. You might also do some research into competing gyms in the area to learn more about common price points.
From there, you have the data you need to present your case and ask for a lower rate. In the end, these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so it helps to have a good relationship with the owner or manager of your gym.
Don’t Miss Out on Savings
Haggling can be confusing, and it’s easy to miss out on savings by not knowing you could have haggled. This is just a sample of the countless items you can spend less on if you’re willing to go through the process of negotiating a fair price.