Learn To Negotiate On Common Expenses

You’re most likely familiar with the concept of negotiating on the price of large ticket items, such as your vehicles or even when you purchased your home. But how often do you try to negotiate on your more common expenses?

Marshall Loeb’s daily money tip over at MarketWatch.com touches on the idea of negotiating common expenses, which I have found to be quite successful when I have attempted this myself.

The suggestions from the article include:

  • When paying medical bills, know that the prices are not set in stone. This is one area that I have saved a bit of money on in the past. When my wife had her wisdom teeth pulled a few years back, I asked the dentist if they offered any type of discount if we paid cash. As luck would have it, they did offer a discount and we saved a considerable amount of money given the total expense.
  • If you need an electronic product or gadget repaired after the warranty has expired, you may be in luck. In my experience, the real trick here is to not only do your research as suggested but to be extremely polite with whomever you speak with at the company in question. Often times the person on the other end has the ability to help you out but if you sour the relationship with a bad attitude, your chances of success will go down considerably.
  • Need to hire a contractor for home repairs? Personally I do not care to really use this approach but it does offer the chance for a hefty savings. We just recently signed a contract with someone to replace all of our windows and while we did accept multiple estimates, we did not attempt to get the contractors in a bidding war. If a contractor undercuts another price just to win the job, they may try to cut corners on the job to try and cover the cost reduction. Be very careful with this suggestion if you try it.

For anyone that has been reading this site for some time, you will know that I regularly ask any store or service provider if that is really the best price that they can offer.

Simply asking the question can often lead to substantial price savings. As an example, I had sent an inquiry to my cable provider to see if they could offer me a better price and in a matter of 10 minutes I saved $138 on my cable bill.

When that discount expired, I simply called them again and asked if there were any deals and I received another discount. I’ve rinsed and repeated this process three times now and haven’t paid full price for my cable and internet service in quite some time.

The next time you have something to buy, whether it be a service or tangible goods, try your hand at negotiating the price and ask for a discount. You may just surprise yourself and receive a nice little savings in the process!

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2 Responses

  1. Wow – great advice on haggling. Everything is a yardsale. I’ll use some of these tips.

  2. mnc says:

    Absolutely, there is no harm in asking for a better price and don’t be afraid to hear them say no. It doesn’t cost you anything to ask.

    If you have any success with haggling, please come back and let us all know what has worked for you!

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