Nobody wants to be the sucker who overpays for something, but in the consumer-mad 21st century, it is often challenging to find the best price for the object of your heart’s desire. You might head to the store and buy a new TV on Saturday and see the same model on sale at a different shop a week later for half the price. It might take a little leg work to make sure you get the best deal on your new car or computer, but the money you save will be worth it in the end. Use these 8 tips to get the best price on everything.
1. The Snoop
The most basic thing you can do to make sure you get the best price on something is to do your research online before making a purchase. It might be helpful to go to the store to ask some preliminary questions, but you should never buy until you understand the comparisons involved. Plenty of websites offer online guides and product reviews. Some corners of the Internet even have forums where you can ask tech experts specific questions before you reach for your wallet.
2. The Ask
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say. You would be surprised by what deals are available if you are just willing to ask for them. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Most stores have policies in place that allow associates or at least managers to be flexible on the price of certain items. The only trick is that you have to be the one to start the conversation.
3. The Power Ladder
When you are face-to-face with a sales associate, you might find that they are hesitant to offer you a better price for something. Maybe they are afraid they will get in trouble. Maybe they are inexperienced with the art of negotiation. Either way, if you aren’t making any progress with the first person you speak to, ask to see a manager. Don’t belittle the person you are already talking to, but politely mention that you have a specific budget and ask if they would mind getting a manager for you. Manners are key in any situation like this.
4. The Clock-Master
There are certain times of day and certain days in the year when you are more likely to get the best price for something. Forget about Black Friday and Boxing Day—start your negotiations at the end of the day when all anyone wants to do it go home or wait until the last few days of the quarter when salespeople will be fighting to make their sales quotas.
5. The Package Price
If you are buying multiple items from the same retailer that go together (ex. TV, speakers, blu-ray player, etc.) ask for a package price. You are more likely to save a little money on each item if you can demonstrate to the salesperson that you are likely to be a loyal and returning customer who is willing to make big purchases.
6. The Non-Committal Glance
If you are serious about buying something and you are ready to start the price conversation, do it in a way that shows you are not desperate to have whatever the item is. Be aloof. Act like you’ve seen better products at countless other stores. Make the salesperson work for the sale. The moment they are sure you will buy something regardless of the price, the negotiation is over.
7. The Flinch
When you ask for the best price on an item, always act surprised when you are told what it is. Let the salesperson know in an obvious way that you were expecting the price to be lower and that your expectations are based on evidence. Let them know you saw a better price somewhere else and that they will need to do better if they want your business.
8. The Bidding War
Finally, don’t be afraid to use capitalism to your advantage. Go to a few stores and tell the salespeople at each the best price you were offered by their competitors. Many companies have policies to help them match or even beat the best price offered by competitors. The best organizations understand that if you make a customer happy, they are likely to come back again and again. Very often, building that relationship is as important to a salesperson as making money in the short-run.
Featured photo credit: Dan Zen via flickr.com