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August 29, 2021

Will sweet talk get you a bigger discount?

True bargain hunters seize every chance they can in the search for a better deal. However, for many people, bargaining is still an issue.

Save A couple of years ago, San Diego-based blogger Roxy Popescu embarked on a simple experiment.

At least once a day for a year, she politely asked shopkeepers, waiters, service reps … in truth, just about any vendor she came in contact with … if they would consider giving her a discount, upgrade, or any other sort of perk.

She’d bargained at farmers markets and asked for free samples before. But now she was trying to learn and improve the outcome with every attempt.

It worked, better than she expected in fact.

It turns out that while the simple act of asking is half the battle in getting more for your money, it's your manner that really makes all the difference, she says.

She analyzed her results and determined how successful she was, based on different attitudes she adopted while asking.

When she was meek or apologetic, she had a 58% success rate. A neutral demeanor produced a 67% success rate. Tough talking? 71%. But when she was simply nice, that rate jumped to 80%, she claims.

Are you a "Is that the best you can do?" shopper? Do you have an established tone and technique? How successful have you been?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...