Yesterday I hit a New Jersey mall to see if I could convince stores to offer me discounts that weren’t otherwise advertised. My haggling has worked in the past, but are retailers fed up at this point? They know we are likely to spend a little more this holiday season … so why give in?
As it turns out, I was very successful. Here are some of the questions I found could help you score a few discounts the next time you’re out shopping.
1. When is the Trunk Sale? For designer clothing and jewelry, ask the sales associate if the designer is having– or has had a recent trunk sale. A trunk sale is a private sale of a brand’s new collection and they’re pretty common this time of year. The sale is sometimes held in department stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Customers can usually pick up pieces for around 25% off. At Nordstrom I was able to get 25% off a diamond necklace just because it had been in a recent trunk sale at a different Nordstrom the day before. The sales associate let me in on the secret after I simply asked if there was any way I could get a discount. Fine jewelry hardly ever goes on sale, so this was a rare occasion.
2. What’s the Best You Can Do? As I learned from sales associates at Best Buy, Nordstrom and Zale’s, sales reps and sales managers have more wiggle room than they may initially let on. It’s in your best interest, as the customer, to take time and engage the sales rep. Tell him or her what you want and your absolute budget. Let them know you’re serious and ask “what’s the best you can do?” Be persistent. At Zale’s, we were able to haggle 25% off a man’s watch. After lingering at the glass counter the sales rep said, “Oh, I can also give you $50 cash back.”
3. Can I Get a Discount For Buying Four or Five? Buying in bulk can earn you some great discounts, even if it’s not at one of the discount warehouse clubs. This trick also works in mall kiosks (the ones selling cell phone accessories or hair accessories) and in hat and video game stores. The discounts I got were usually buy four get one free, buy five get one free.
4. Can I Get a Discount For Using Cash? This one’s a classic question and I’ve rarely been turned down when asking this at independently owned stores. Mall kiosk sales reps love this offer to pay cash since it means paying fewer fees to the card companies. For us, that could mean 10% off.
5. Can You Beat the Competitor’s Price? At Best Buy I walked in with a flyer from Electronics Expo which had a 58 inch plasma TV marked down a few hundred dollars less than at Best Buy. I showed the “blue shirt” or sales rep and he said he could “match it.” But what good is matching, I asked? I still have no incentive to buy it here! With that, he called his store manager and after a bit of convincing I was able to get him to offer it for another 5% less. He also threw in a free Blue Ray DVD player, 3D movies and 3D glasses for free– a value of more than $700.
Do you have holiday shopping tips for haggling discounts that have worked for you? Be sure to post them in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you!
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