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September 14, 2021

Is there anything you won't haggle over?

Is there anything you won't bargain over?

Haggling-150x150 While haggling can be a little awkward for some, it can pay off in unexpected ways, claims Len Penzo, a frugality enthusiast who goes to great lengths to get a deal.

Sure, some stores or vendors may refuse to budge on price, but most are willing to bend to the demands of the marketplace, says Fred Gleeck, author of Negotiate Anything: How to Get the Absolute Best Deal on Any Product or Service You Buy.

If one manager or salesperson says no, for instance, come back later when the shift has changed and try again, he suggests. 

Here's a partial list of frugal Len's favourite targets.

Satellite and cable television service. If your cable provider has a monopoly in your town, play them against the satellite providers.

Real estate commissions. It's early days yet but fledgling FSBO services are encouraging more realtors to negotiate  commissions.

College tuition. You may be able to extract a discount from colleges and universities if you're from a laerge family.

Musical instruments. Chain storers only carry limited merchandise but smaller specialty shops do negotiate.

Gym memberships. The fact that gym contract terms will vary widely from one member to the next makes them ripe for negotiation.

Cruise tickets. The closer to sailing time, the more leverage you’ll have.

Mattresses. Big markups here. Use free delivery, disposal, pillows, bed pads as your fulcrum.

Mortgages. Why do you think brokers exist in the first place?

Slightly marred products. Furniture and appliances with small cosmetic dents or scratches present an  opportunity to whittle down the purchase price down.

Car tires. Now that it's so easy to shop in the U.S., dealers will come closer to meeting the best price.

Rent. If you’re renewing a lease, you can get maximum leverage by opening the negotiations as far ahead of time as possible.

Lawn service. The competition between gardeners is fierce, so it’s relatively easy to play one against the other.

Are you willing to haggle? Where have you had the most success? Is there anything you won't bargain over? 

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...