Last weekend, The Washington Post published an article from Mike Rosenwald about the recent resurgence of haggling. To get a feel for the art of the deal, Rosenwald spent a week putting haggling to work in his own life:
For consumers like me who have spent decades shopping at full retail, getting a deal on previously no-deal items is liberating and invigorating, as I found out during a recent week I spent haggling. At first, my wife and friends asked me if I was crazy, but when I reported saving $3 on steak at Giant and $50 a month on our Verizon bill, they asked only one thing: How?
Just before Christmas, I spoke with Rosenwald about haggling. Though none of my tips made the final article (which is no big deal; that’s how journalism works!), he did profile long-time GRS reader Stephen Popick (who also volunteers as the GRS discussion forum admin). Rosenwald writes:
Popick is a well-paid guy — he can afford things. But he looks at price tags merely as suggestions. (Call him cheap, and he’ll thank you for the compliment.) For years, Popick has haggled down prices on ground beef, videogames, beer, bicycles, magazines, satellite TV and even the his-and-her plastic reindeer that adorned his front lawn for Christmas.
“I’ve always wondered why more people don’t do this,” said Popick, who lives with his wife in Alexandria. “This is your money. It would be wasteful not to do this, right?”
Taking lessons from Popick and others, Rosenwald gave haggling a try. He negotiated on everything from DVDs to steaks to cell phones. Final result? Rosenwald saved $730 in seven days.
As I’ve said before when this subject comes up, haggling isn’t for everyone. But if you’re brave enough to negotiate — and willing to put up with occasional rejection — you really can save money.
Here are some past Get Rich Slowly articles on this subject:
- How one reader uses haggling to save big bucks
- How to haggle
- You can negotiate anything
- Negotiate once, save thousands every year
- How I cut my Comcast cable bill by 33% (without losing any service)
Do you haggle? How often? Only on the big stuff? What rules have you set for yourself? How successful are you?
[The Washington Post: In tough economic times, shoppers take haggling to new heights]