bargaining http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9210/all en-US Negotiate Better Prices on These 6 Grocery Store Buys http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_food_shopping_000016896623.jpg" alt="Woman negotiating prices on grocery store buys" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of negotiating a lower price at the grocery store is often something shoppers shy away from. Whether it's the fear of rejection or embarrassment, negotiating is rarely used as a way to save money. Well, I'm here to tell you that if you know what grocery items to look for, and have the proper negotiating strategy in place, it can be successfully done. Here are some items worth negotiating, along with tips to make it happen.</p> <h2>1. Deli and Butcher Counter</h2> <p>Many shoppers are unaware that there exists great opportunities to negotiate a lower price at the deli and butcher counter. Always look for hams and roasts that are less than two pounds in size. These have typically been sliced from larger cuts and the remaining amount is often too small to prep for lunch meat, meaning they are hard to sell by themselves. So, politely ask the employee behind the counter if you can take it off their hands for a slight discount. I typically ask for 20% off and end up with a 10%&ndash;15% discount the majority of the time.</p> <h2>2. Fruits and Veggies</h2> <p>The single best way to negotiate a deal on fruit and veggies at the grocery store is to look for slightly damaged items and ask for a small discount. Maybe a bunch of bananas is slightly bruised, but it won't affect your fruit smoothie. Or maybe a head of lettuce is slightly wilted on the outside, but the leaves underneath are just fine. Politely start a conversation with the employee in the produce department, point out the defect, and ask for a slight discount. This always works better if you're buying a large quantity, as the employee will want to keep you happy.</p> <p>Also, if you do the majority of your shopping at a single grocery store, try to build a relationship with the produce employees. They'll be able to tip you off to great deals, the freshest items, and upcoming sales &mdash; and be more willing to lower the price for you, too. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. Wrongly Priced Items</h2> <p>Almost every grocery store has a section dedicated to clearance or marked-down items placed for a quick sale. Without fail, there are always items placed in this section that appear to still be marked at full price. This happened to me recently when I found some expensive K-Cups for my Keurig brewer on the clearance rack that were not marked down. On a hunch, I asked a nearby employee if they were actually on sale. He did a quick price scan and sure enough, they were incorrectly priced at full retail. He did a price adjustment for me, and I walked out of the store with a sweet deal. Now, I make it a habit to always check the clearance rack when I visit the grocery store.</p> <h2>4. Bakery Items</h2> <p>A great way to save money on cupcakes, cakes, and pastries is to look for items that are a day or two from the &quot;sell by&quot; date. Once you find these items, simply ask the employee if they'll be marked down soon, since they're nearing expiration. Instead of spending the time marking them down, often the employee will happily let them go to you <em>now</em> at a discount. If the employee doesn't volunteer an immediate discount, ask about the possibility of you taking them off their hands for 25% off. Keep in mind that, in the end, you're actually doing them a favor as it takes time to mark down these items and they run the risk of having to remove them from the store if unsold.</p> <h2>5. Meats</h2> <p>The biggest key to saving money is to know what day and time your grocery store marks down their meats that are nearing their &quot;sell by&quot; date. Most do it on weekdays before 10 a.m., but just ask and they'll happily tell you. Once you know, shop right after their markdowns and then ask for a quantity discount when buying multiple cuts. Remember, it's only a &quot;sell by&quot; date and not an expiration date. Plus, the cuts are still great for freezing and using later at a big discount.</p> <p>The key to making this work is to politely ask for a discount when buying at least five or more items that are nearing their &quot;sell by&quot; date. Most butcher counters are happy to clear out these items at an extra 10%&ndash;15% off, as they want to get rid of them quickly before they take a loss on them.</p> <h2>6. Cases of Wine</h2> <p>My local grocery store will happily sell a case of wine, typically 12 bottles, for a discount. While I'm not a wine drinker, I've seen several customers get discounts in the 10%&ndash;15% off range by purchasing in bulk. The key to your success is to look for wine that may be overstocked, or on sale, as those are the vintages the store probably wants to clear out to make room for new inventory. If your grocery store denies a discount, check specialty stores like BevMo!, Total Wines, or a local beverage retailer. They'll usually happily offer you a case discount.</p> <p>The keys to negotiating at the grocery store are always to be polite and have a friendly conversation rather than be demanding. Throw in a legitimate reason to ask for that discount, and you stand a great chance of saving money on your next trip.</p> <p><em>How do you save money at the grocery store? Have you ever successfully negotiated a lower price?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bargaining discounts finding deals food costs groceries grocery store negotiating Thu, 03 Mar 2016 10:30:31 +0000 Kyle James 1665769 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times Trying to Negotiate Can Backfire http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-trying-to-negotiate-can-backfire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-trying-to-negotiate-can-backfire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/employee_meeting_work_000048989622.jpg" alt="Woman trying to negotiate and realizing it backfired" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to negotiating, the worst that can happen is that they'll say no &mdash; right? Not necessarily. Read on for our roundup of instances when negotiating can actually backfire.</p> <h2>1. When Your Negotiation Lacks Specifics</h2> <p>Whatever you're negotiating &mdash; be it an upgrade on a vacation package, better working conditions, or a pay raise &mdash; be sure that your end goal isn't so abstract that it can't be measured. Say you're on the phone with customer service for a boutique hotel that double-booked the room you had been planning to stay in on an upcoming holiday. And there are no more left with the ocean view you had wanted. You've been wronged, however innocently, and now you've got leverage. But what do you hope to get out of it? You need to be able to clearly define your negotiation goals.</p> <p>Telling customer service that you expect to be compensated for the error lacks specifics. Compensation might mean that the downgraded room you end up with comes with a bottle of champagne and free room service. It might mean a welcome drink in the lobby. It could be an upgrade to the honeymoon suite. Or a night on the house. If you don't specify what fair compensation means to you, you risk being disappointed. When negotiating, your ask should always be clear and measurable.</p> <h2>2. When You Set the Bar Too Low</h2> <p>Fear of failure is one of humankind's biggest self-imposed roadblocks. Sometimes, it haunts our negotiations. If we ask for what we think we can get rather than what we really want, we risk settling for the easier, less controversial negotiation. Setting goals we're confident we can obtain can be helpful. You should never negotiate for something that's downright outlandish.</p> <p>But when we go in the other direction and set the bar too low, we don't give our dreams a fair shot. So don't make this rookie mistake. Instead, set goals that are slightly out of reach, but not so far out that you can't achieve them. This is good advice for life as well as negotiations.</p> <h2>3. When You're Smiling</h2> <p>A new study examines how the <a href="https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/minds-business/an-ill-timed-smile-can-hurt-you-in-negotiations.html">interpretation of facial expressions</a> can impact the outcome of business negotiations. And it's nothing to smile at. &quot;If you come to an agreement in a negotiation and you are really happy, it may not be a good idea to show how happy you are because it might lead the other person to think that you did better than they did,&quot; said Peter Carnevale, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. &quot;A smile at the wrong time can discourage cooperation.&quot;</p> <h2>4. When You're a Woman</h2> <p>Research shows that initiating negotiations when female can backfire. Sad, but true. A 2007 study found that employers are less likely to hire <a href="https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/cfawis/bowles.pdf">women who ask for raises</a>. Why? Because go-getting women, in some instances, are perceived as demanding and lacking in team spirit. Even when a woman is successful in negotiating a pay raise, it can have negative impacts for her <a href="http://www2.tku.edu.tw/~tfstnet/upload/file/2013020516594546966.pdf">long-term earnings</a>, namely due to the fact that some employers will begin to view her as aggressive, according to research published in 2011. But that doesn't mean women should be less keen on negotiating and demanding what they deserve. To the contrary, they should proactively seek the best terms possible.</p> <p>Here's feminist businesswoman Sheryl Sandberg's take: Gender biases are rampant in the workplace, but don't give in to them, even if that means you risk taking on negative consequences. &quot;Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/05/sheryl-sandberg-facebook-bossy-interview">called too aggressive</a> at work,&quot; Sandberg said. &quot;We know in gender blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we're busy telling all the women that they're too aggressive. That's the issue.&quot;</p> <h2>5. When You're Looking to Settle Your Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>Settling your credit card debt for less than what you owe is likely to <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/credit/T017-C000-S002-if-i-negotiate-a-payoff-will-it-hurt-my-score.html">hurt your credit score</a> quite a bit. If your credit score is intact, you might want to think twice before opening up negotiations. If your credit card issuer agrees to close your account in exchange for a lump sum, your credit score wouldn't suffer. But that's not standard protocol. Common practice is for the issuer to report the number of days your account was delinquent as well as the fact that your debt was settled for less than the full amount.</p> <p><em>When has negotiating backfired for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-trying-to-negotiate-can-backfire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating">Conversation Killers: What’s Holding You Back From Negotiating?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-beyonc">7 Money Lessons We Can Learn From Beyoncé</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks bargaining demands negotiating women Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:00:34 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1541941 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_headphones_000027478275.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions that will save her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Negotiating often means having to be a little bit pushy and understanding basic psychological techniques in order to get a good deal. Because of this, many of us forgo negotiating and continue paying retail price for almost everything we purchase.</p> <p>We often forget, however, how simply asking for a discount can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-the-coolest-sayings-about-saving">save money</a>, thereby avoiding the need for negotiating tactics. It's a simple idea but here are eight questions you can ask that could save you big bucks.</p> <h2>1. Does This Expired Coupon Still Work?</h2> <p>Many of us are guilty of clipping coupons for future use, and then forgetting about them only to realize they've expired. Instead of throwing away the expired coupon, take it to the store and ask if they will accept it, anyway.</p> <p>Bed, Bath, and Beyond offers this for all of their coupons, and Walmart will take expired coupons as long as the register doesn't read it as such. So, don't let the expiration date fool you.</p> <h2>2. Is This the Best Price You Can Offer?</h2> <p>When working with smaller boutique shops, or thrift stores, they expect you to negotiate. Asking if this is the final price, or the best they can do, will often get you a bit of money knocked off the final price.</p> <p>If they aren't willing to budge, try walking away and seeing if they come down on their price. If not, just be patient and look for another salesperson who's willing to negotiate on price.</p> <h2>3. Can You Match a Competitor's Price?</h2> <p>Big stores like Target and Lowe's will often match a competitor's advertised price on the same object simply by asking. You can either bring in the competitor's weekly circular displaying the price of the exact same item, or use your smartphone to bring up the webpage that displays the price online.</p> <p>In some cases, you can even submit the price of a competitor after the fact, and receive a refund for the difference. This is another reason why it's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-by-tracking-your-receipts">save your receipts</a>.</p> <h2>4. I Want to Cancel My Service &mdash; Is There a Better Deal?</h2> <p>Threatening to cancel your Internet or cable TV service isn't a negotiating tactic you should use all the time, but if you're in the process of moving, or evaluating your yearly expenses, this could be the perfect time to ask this question.</p> <p>Most companies will offer a six-month promotion, or other short-term deal, in order to keep you as a customer. Simply let them know that you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-cheap-alternatives-to-luxury-services">thinking of switching services</a>, or cancelling altogether, and ask if they can offer a better deal for you to stay with their service.</p> <h2>5. Will You Take $X If I Pay in Cash?</h2> <p>Nothing is a stronger negotiating strategy than cold hard cash. Ask the cashier or sales rep if they will take $X amount of money if you pay the entire balance in cash. Maybe even flash the cash you have as a way to let them know you're serious.</p> <p>Most of the time they will consider this option, especially when you're buying a car, since the dealership can avoid additional red tape from loans and the fees.</p> <h2>6. Can We Barter Services Free of Charge?</h2> <p>If you have a particular set of skills, you may be able to barter services in exchange for something you need. I offer my landlord bookkeeping services in exchange for a discount on my portion of rent.</p> <p>I have a friend who gets free labor on houses she renovates by offering scrap metal and other valuable recyclables to contractors in exchange for having them remove the items from the house. It's a win-win for both parties. So don't be afraid to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barter-explained-why-its-wise-to-barter">barter your services</a> instead of exchanging money.</p> <h2>7. Do I Qualify for Various Discounts?</h2> <p>A good portion of restaurants and retail stores offer military or senior discounts that aren't publicly advertised. If you don't ask, you won't know what kind of various discounts are available. Most military or senior citizen discounts will be in the 10%-15% range.</p> <p>Another lesser-known discount is the friends and family discount. Even if you're not sure if a family member or friend qualifies you to receive a discount, it never hurts to ask. Some employees will occasionally use their discount on your behalf.</p> <h2>8. Are There Any Upcoming Sales or Holiday Promotions?</h2> <p>Most stores offer yearly sales and holiday promotions as a way to drum up business or clear out last season's inventory. As a woman, I know that Victoria's Secret offers their semi-annual sale, so that's usually when I make any purchases.</p> <p>Ask the customer service rep if there are any upcoming sales or holiday promotions, then mark your calendar so you can come back (or order online) to save some money. Sometimes they'll even offer you the sale price right then and there. It never hurts to ask!</p> <p><em>What other questions have you asked that ended up saving you money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-you-should-learn-from-great-hagglers">10 Tricks You Should Learn From Great Hagglers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping bargaining coupons deals haggling negotiating price matching Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:00:13 +0000 Carrie Smith 1494570 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retail_employee_000026834633.jpg" alt="Retail employee at store where prices are negotiable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In many parts of the world, haggling is a way of life. You would never think of paying the sticker price, and to be honest, the retailer would be offended if you didn't try to negotiate.</p> <p>In America, things are a little different. We have become used to just accepting that the price we see is the price we pay, with very few exceptions. Yes, we'll negotiate on a home or car, but after that, we tend to avoid haggling. However, several major retail stores will actually take part in price negotiations, and will usually give you a better deal than the one you were expecting. You just have to know how to play the game. And it goes without saying &mdash; be polite and courteous the whole time. Demanding a discount won't get you anywhere.</p> <h2>1. Best Buy</h2> <p>Let's start with the one most people have asked me about. &quot;Can you really haggle at Best Buy?&quot; Yes, you absolutely can, although the results will vary from store to store.</p> <p>First, you want to go shopping towards the end of the month, between the 29th and the 31st. Like most retail stores, Best Buy gives its floor managers sales goals, and they really want to hit them. By going in when they are down to the wire, you have more haggling power.</p> <p>Next, follow a few simple rules and you will get the bargain you want.</p> <ul> <li>You will get better discounts on high-end items. A huge $2500 TV or home theater system has a serious markup, and therefore, more wiggle room. If you go big, start negotiating.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask for freebies to be thrown in. If you're buying a computer, ask for a pack of blank DVDs. If you get a laptop, ask for a free bag or wireless mouse.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Focus on floor models and open box items. I've had great success buying floor models at massive discounts. The great thing is, you can buy the Geek Squad protection on it, and they'll replace it for a brand new item if they're unable to repair it. Open-box items are also easy to haggle on, and 20%-25% off is fair. And if the packaging on a new item is damaged, ask for a discount. They will often give you 10% off.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bundle and save. Buying a monitor and a keyboard? Ask for a discount on both. The same goes for a TV and Blu-ray player, or a bunch of DVDs. If you are buying multiples, the store manager has some discretion to give you a deal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remember price matching. If you see a lower price anywhere, Best Buy will match it. So before you buy, search for the item on your smartphone and find the lowest price online or locally. Then watch the salesperson crumble.</li> </ul> <h2>2 &amp; 3. Home Depot and Lowes</h2> <p>The top two big box DIY stores are both susceptible&nbsp;to the art of negotiation. Just ask Kyle James, a former Home Depot worker whose own post at <a href="http://www.rather-be-shopping.com/blog/2014/09/08/how-to-negotiate-at-major-retailers/">Rather Be Shopping</a> is full of great tips for negotiating at that store and several others on this list. Both Home Depot and Lowes have&nbsp;very similar policies when it comes to negotiating, and the following guidelines apply.</p> <ul> <li>Scratches, dents, and dings give you great haggling power. On big appliances, most customers want their new items to be pristine. They cost a lot of money, they should be perfect. But who cares about minor dings? After a few months in the house with kids and pets, those dings will soon appear anyway. Seek out scratched and dented items when you want a new appliance, and start haggling. It's damaged goods, and the managers have wiggle room. Even torn packaging can get you a discount.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get deals on poor quality lumber, roll ends, and off cuts. If you're building a fence and don't mind a few imperfect pickets or posts, grab them from the rack. Then, talk to a store manager and ask for a discount. You should easily get one, since the lumber they can't sell gets junked, anyway. You can also get great deals on roll-ends for carpet and linoleum, as well as off-cut wood and other materials.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Floor models are also great starting points for negotiations. These days, you can get all of your major appliances from the hardware store, and they all have floor models that have been poked, prodded, and generally used and abused by potential customers. However, they work just fine, most of them have never even been plugged in. Ask for a floor model, at a 10%-15% discount. If they are not ready to sell the floor models yet, ask when they are. You may even be able to put one on hold, if you are particularly charming.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of stocking errors. This doesn't always work, but if you see something you want and the price looks too good to be true, it could be a product that has been placed in the wrong section. If it's a one off, forget it. But if the whole rack is marked at $10, instead of $20, then it is a legitimate angle for a discount. They priced it incorrectly, it's their mistake, and their loss. This happens a lot at hardware stores, especially in some of the aisles with very similar products at vastly different prices.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Price match. This is always a good option. Now, Home Depot and Lowes seem to be a little tougher on this than other stores, and will require evidence of a product in stock locally for a lower price. Online price matching will be way more difficult to achieve.</li> </ul> <h2>4 &amp; 5. Sam's Club and Costco</h2> <p>Wherever you do your bulk buying, there are some strategies you can employ that can help you get better prices. Remember, just because you're already getting a discount, it doesn't mean the prices cannot go lower. Your membership fees and the bulk buying formula are the reason the prices are low. The stores are getting this stuff cheap, they make great profits, and you can negotiate.</p> <ul> <li>Know the store layouts. Clark Howard, a consumer expert, says that the best deals in both of these stores are on aisles five, six, and seven. Knowing this in advance, you can head over to these areas and talk to the manager about buying a lot of these goods for a discount.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look for items going off that day. Whether it's fruit, meat, bread, cakes, or vegetables, the manager will be very pliable towards the end of the day. They'd rather get a sale from you than throw it all in the dumpster.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tires should never be bought at sticker price. The warehouse stores rely on you thinking that they will have the cheapest prices around. This is a complete fallacy. With your smartphone at hand, bring up the prices of the same tires at places like Discount Tire or Tire Rack.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Furniture Stores</h2> <p>There are big retail chains, and there are local mom-n'-pop businesses. However, they both have one thing in common: They are willing to negotiate on certain items, especially as the <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/guid/dbc03806-309a-11e0-b7f5-072128040cf6?page=2">markup on furniture</a> is so high. How high, you ask? Try 80%. A lot of the stock is bought overseas, shipped in, and marked up to ridiculous amounts. Here are some negotiation strategies you can use.</p> <ul> <li>First, head to the back of the stores, or the clearance sections. You will find some products marked &quot;as is&quot; or &quot;last one.&quot; Well, this is a great place to start haggling. They have discounted the stock because they want it gone, and if you are ready to take it off their hands on that day, you'll be doing them a favor. Don't get greedy, it's already cheap, but drop the price another 20%. If you can, offering cash also helps.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>They know many of their products are not as high-quality as they make out. So, start looking over the pieces like they're used cars. Inspect the joints, the finish, point out the flaws. As you make your case for the poor craftsmanship, you are laying the groundwork for a discount.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy more, get more of a discount. If you plan on remodeling the bedrooms, see if you can afford to buy everything at one time. If you're dropping a lot of money, the furniture store may work with you.</li> </ul> <h2>7 &amp; 8. Walmart and Target</h2> <p>You might think that the country's two largest retailers wouldn't let you haggle. Well, this isn't the case. There are times you can haggle, if you know what you're doing.</p> <ul> <li>Like other stores on this list, Walmart and Target will let you haggle on items that are damaged or dinged. On damaged items, you can get a <a href="http://consumerist.com/2010/08/09/its-never-too-late-to-haggle-even-at-target/">13% discount at Target</a>. I checked into this, and it's a standard figure that is often offered, especially if you received a damaged item from Target.com. So, if you are okay with the amount of damage the item has, ask for the discount. They will often apply it right there.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Food is very easy to negotiate on. Just like in the warehouse stores, Walmart and Target managers know that food that has reached its best-before-date is not going to be easy to sell. That's why you'll often see those &quot;manager's special&quot; stickers on meat and seafood. Well, just go and talk to a manager and ask for a discount on the food. They will usually apply a savings sticker right there. It can be anywhere from $3 off, to half price. If it's in questionable shape, or the packaging is beaten up, you can often get it for 75% off.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discontinued items are another great way to save money. You can find out about them from websites, and armed with that knowledge you can ask for big discounts. You will also see them in bargain bins. The store wants them gone; they will negotiate.</li> </ul> <h2>9. Pawn Stores</h2> <p>You've seen Rick on Pawn Stars, so you know the score here. This is one of the few kinds of stores that actively encourages haggling, due to the nature of their &quot;buy low and sell high&quot; model. They want to engage you in negotiations, but this of course works both ways. You can get a deal, if you know how to approach them:</p> <ul> <li>Learn the pawn store discount codes, such as the <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5948519/crack-the-hidden-pawn-shop-price-codes-to-haggle-a-better-price#">codes from Pawn America</a>. Once you know the secret, you are instantly given a way to know how much the item can be discounted. Other pawn stores may have similar codes, so do your homework.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you're selling, make sure you know as much as you can about your item. And then, make sure <em>you </em>make the first offer, knowing that it will be countered by a much lower offer. One of the first rules of negotiation is that the person who sets the price controls the bidding.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't over-negotiate. The pawn store owner is running a business, and has to make a profit from the items he or she buys. Yes, they are ready to haggle, but if you offer them half of what the item is worth, they'll laugh you out of the store. When they say &quot;final offer,&quot; they mean it.</li> </ul> <h2>10. Thrift Stores</h2> <p>As someone who goes to thrift stores often, haggling is a great skill to have. Every thrift store is different, but having worked behind the scenes at Goodwill, I can tell you that the pricing is very loose. Some items are marked too low, and others too high. With that in mind...</p> <ul> <li>Look at the color-coded tags. If a color is on sale that week, it means it has been sitting on the shelf for a long time. Thrift stores have a high turnover, and want to make room for new merchandise constantly. These items are ready to go to something called salvage, and that means you have the ability to haggle the price.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look carefully at the condition. Is it scratched, dented, or chipped? Does it work correctly? Did you find snags or holes that the pricer may have missed? Simply by pointing those things out, you can get a manager to knock a few bucks off the price.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use your smartphone to bring up the going rate of the item you want. If they have overpriced it, they'll usually bring it down to the price you show them. After all, they get all of their items for free, so it's all profit for the charity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask for discounts on bulk purchases. I recently bought a set of four plates the same price that three would have cost me, simply because I asked for a discount if I took them all.</li> </ul> <h2>11. Department Stores</h2> <p>Despite what you may think, Nordstrom's, Macy's, Kohl's, and Dillard's are definitely open to haggling. Managers are open to a little negotiation, and are even authorized to go <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/business/more-retailers-see-haggling-as-a-price-of-doing-business.html?_r=2&amp;pagewanted=all">10% below a competitor's price</a>. Here's what you need to do to make sure you are in the discount zone.</p> <ul> <li>Price matching is key. If you find a blouse or a pair of shoes cheaper in another store, bring it up on your smartphone. They want your business, and they have numbers to hit. The price is not going to be much lower anyway, and they'd rather have less profit than no sale.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sales happen all the time. Ask if the item you're looking for was recently on sale, or if it is coming on sale again soon. The store manager will often give you last week's sale price. You can also come back to a store when the item you bought at full price is now on sale, and ask for the difference as a refund. They will usually honor this.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Once again, scuffs, scratches, and dents are great haggling points.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use something called &quot;sticker shock.&quot; That means you're very interested in the item until the clerk reveals the price. If you are really taken aback, they will look into discounts for you. Sometimes, those discounts can be significant, especially on jewelry and watches.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask for extras to be thrown in for free. If you buy a suit, ask for a shirt and tie.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The golden rule with department stores &mdash; ask for the manager. They have the authority to offer bigger discounts, and if you are very polite, they often like to show how powerful they are by giving you a big fat discount.</li> </ul> <p><em>Where do you negotiate price?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-you-should-learn-from-great-hagglers">10 Tricks You Should Learn From Great Hagglers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating">Conversation Killers: What’s Holding You Back From Negotiating?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-trick-salespeople">6 Ways to Trick Salespeople</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping bargaining haggling negotiating sales sticker prices Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:00:26 +0000 Paul Michael 1401050 at http://www.wisebread.com Conversation Killers: What’s Holding You Back From Negotiating? http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/free_speech.jpg" alt="Taped-over mouth" title="Taped-over mouth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few months ago, I wrote an article for Wise Bread entitled <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>. In it, I covered some tried and true methods of negotiating deals on everything from used cars to hotel rooms. Since then, I&rsquo;ve come to realize that for some, just getting the conversation started can be a struggle. What good is a negotiation primer if we&rsquo;re held back from even broaching the topic out of fear or embarrassment? Maybe any discussion about negotiation strategy needs to be prefaced by an exploration of what I call Conversation Killers &mdash; those little roadblocks that hold us back from channeling our inner wheeler-dealer. Here are 4 points to consider as you prepare for what can be a rewarding money management skill.</p> <h2>Fear</h2> <p>Fear is the king of conversation-killers. It&rsquo;s born from lack of experience and feeds upon itself. People fear offending sellers, being overheard by other buyers, challenging convention, or asserting their legitimate power as consumers. The best way to overcome this roadblock is to first practice in lower-pressure situations. Start out over the phone &mdash; the next time you renew that cell phone contract or work to whittle down those texting overages from your trigger-finger teenager. Then, try face-to-face opportunities at yard sales or tag sales (a quarter saved here, a dollar there). Once you see that negotiation works 90% of the time, you&rsquo;ll start to get your sea legs and apply your new skills on the car lot, in the furniture store, and job market. On those occasions when you get a resounding &lsquo;no,&rsquo; be polite, but don&rsquo;t let it discourage your efforts next time.</p> <h2>Embarrassment</h2> <p>Negotiation can be a lonely sport. Culturally, it&rsquo;s sometimes frowned upon and those most likely to have been raised with haggling as the norm, are getting older and not passing along their skills. Once upon a time, a bit of price flexibility was expected in nearly all situations and consumers flexed their muscles more. Now, we assume prices are set in stone and shrink at the thought of being seen by our friends or co-workers trying to score a better deal. The implication of course, is that haggling suggests we can&rsquo;t afford the sticker price. But since when did being smart or assertive with money suggest poverty &mdash; shouldn&rsquo;t it suggest just the opposite? Like fear, embarrassment erodes with success. Look at the situation from new perspective: should it be an embarrassment to negotiate wisely? If someone overhears your haggling, is it an occasion for embarrassment or an opportunity to teach by example?</p> <h2>Lack of Experience or Information</h2> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve overcome roadblocks 1 and 2, the third will tumble easily. Experience is the ultimate educator and you&rsquo;ll soon be identifying negotiation opportunities around every corner. Experience doesn&rsquo;t take the place of information, however, so legwork is still important. Knowing how much that 1998 Honda is really worth can give you the confidence you need to start the discussion and haggle with less hesitation. Remember, do your research, own your past successes, and go!</p> <h2>Oblivious to the Option</h2> <p>I can&rsquo;t tell you how many times I&rsquo;ve seen people pay full price for an item even in the rare circumstance where negotiating is still fully expected. I can only guess at the reason &mdash; do these folks not realize haggling is even an option? Do they have an antagonistic relationship with their money and want to dispose of it expeditiously? Remember, the list of situations where bargaining does work is far longer than the list of where it doesn&rsquo;t. Granted, finding someone with the authority to make a decision on price may be more of challenge in national chain stores, but finding that person can be worth the trouble. I&rsquo;ve negotiated the price of new shoes, the prices of a half-dozen used cars, new tires, and more than a few health club memberships. To employ a tired adage: you won&rsquo;t know until you try.</p> <p>We live in a society that implies inflexibility and standardization at nearly every turn. Neighborhood stores have given way to big box warehouses, town squares have been lost to malls, and quirky local shops have been replaced with formulaic national chains. Let&rsquo;s defend at least some of our old consumer traditions and put the art of haggling back into what&rsquo;s become the science of selling.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/conversation-killers-what-s-holding-you-back-from-negotiating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deal-killers-5-phrases-to-avoid-when-negotiating">Deal Killers: 5 Phrases to Avoid When Negotiating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-you-should-learn-from-great-hagglers">10 Tricks You Should Learn From Great Hagglers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping bargaining haggling negotiating Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:00:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 110544 at http://www.wisebread.com Should you try to reduce your rent? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/forrent.jpg" alt="for rent sign" title="For Rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lately it seems that rent prices have been dropping in many areas of the country.&nbsp; Here in San Mateo some residential apartments <a href="http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/San-Mateo-County-tenants-have-reason-to-smile-46866122.html">are dropping prices as much as 20%</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; This seemed a bit unbelievable until I looked on Craigslist and found that a specific apartment my husband and I looked at around two years ago actually dropped its price by $300 a month from $1699 to $1399 a month.&nbsp; With our lease expiring soon, I wonder if we should move or try to negotiate a lower rent.</p> <p>My husband and I both do not like moving because it takes a lot of time&nbsp; to look for a new place.&nbsp; There is also the cost of renting transportation and the general headache of carrying everything. However, if the discounts are large enough it might be worth the cost. &nbsp;&nbsp; Although occupancy rates are still quite high in San Mateo county I am seeing many similar nearby units for rent on Craigslist for anywhere from $150 to $300 less than our condo.&nbsp; It definitely seems that we are paying too much for what we are getting.&nbsp; If we are able to sign a new lease for $300 less a month for a comparable rental then it might be worth the hassle of moving.</p> <p> Another option is to just ask our landlord for a discount. A few months ago <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/wallet/2009/02/09/how-to-reduce-your-rent/ ">a Wall Street Journal blog post</a> showed how a simple letter detailing the declining of the rental market in Manhattan allowed the author to reduce her rent by $300 a month.&nbsp; I think this would probably work well for any good renter&nbsp; in a declining rental market since it would hurt the landlord quite a bit to leave an unit empty for a couple months.&nbsp; For example, if my landlord gave us a discount of $100 a month then he would be losing $1200 in a year, but he would lose $1700 a month if we moved out.</p> <p>I think the important thing is to craft a letter that incorporates evidence that the rental market is declining.&nbsp; It also helps your case if you are consistent on your rent payments.&nbsp; This probably would not work in areas where rental markets are still quite active, but I think&nbsp; it is still possible to negotiate a lower rental rate for a longer term lease.&nbsp; In general month to month leases are the most expensive, and leases that are a year or longer could provide a discount.</p> <p>Anyway, right now my husband and I decided to just write a letter to our landlord requesting a discount.&nbsp; I will probably enclose some of the cheaper listings I have found recently.&nbsp; I do not expect that I would get a $300 a month discount, but I would definitely be happy with a discount of $50 to $150 a month.&nbsp; That discount would add up handsomely over a yearly lease.&nbsp;&nbsp; The largest expense in most of our lives is housing, so I think it makes sense to try to reduce that cost if possible.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>Have any of you tried to ask for a rent reduction this year ? Have you moved recently due to large rent drops in your area?&nbsp; Feel free to share!</strong></em></p> <p>Update:&nbsp; I got $75 off per month on my rent after simply asking my landlord.&nbsp; We signed a new 1 year lease, and this would save us $900 over the year.&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-try-to-reduce-your-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-obamas-new-mortgage-plan-really-reward-responsibility">Will Obama&#039;s new mortgage plan really reward responsibility?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-afford-to-live-in-your-dream-city">Can You Really Afford to Live in Your Dream City?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8000-housing-tax-credit-can-now-be-turned-into-cash-at-closing-according-to-fha">$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seller-funded-down-payment-assistance-charities-scammers-or-saints">Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance Charities - Scammers or Saints?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Real Estate and Housing bargaining housing rent Tue, 09 Jun 2009 00:22:38 +0000 Xin Lu 3242 at http://www.wisebread.com Sometimes I wish I had beautiful long blonde hair and ample cleavage. http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/57771524_9da42a3c85.jpg" alt="Barbie" title="Barbie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not on my body of course; that would be freakish. And if you’re visualizing it right now, I’m really sorry…especially if you’re eating. No, I’m basically reacting to several incidentover the past few weeks/months/years which have forced me to come to the following conclusion: getting deals seems to be a whole lot easier if you’re easier on the eye.<br /> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m no oil painting: shaved head; average features; I could certainly lose a few pounds. But I do have an English accent. An ace up my sleeve which has, on occasion, helped me sway a few people here and there. Not by much, but enough to get an additional 10% off or a freebie thrown into a purchase. It’s peanuts to what I’ve witnessed with my own four eyes (I wear glasses, often another setback) when a pretty lady uses her charms on the average guy. I’m sure I’ll hear cries of sexism, but this has nothing to do with the intelligence of the girls…rather, the lack of intelligence of the people sucking up to them. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I’ve chatted with girls at work who have escaped speeding tickets not once, but on three or four occasions. I have had two tickets from two violations. I put my hands on the wheel each time, used very polite language and was extremely courteous. It got me nowhere. But some of the girls at the office, and their friends, told me how easy it was for them to get away with no ticket at all – just bat your eyelids, hike up your cleavage and play ‘the little girl lost’ routine. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If there are any male police officers out there, I’d like to ask a question; what do you really think is going to happen when you let a sassy blonde get away without a ticket? Do you really think she’ll give you her phone number? Seriously, why let her break the law and let others pay for it? </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/134701415_bbbc8e879b.jpg" alt="Ogle Street" title="Ogle Street" width="400" height="300" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Just the other day I saw three guys in Circuit City crowding around a pretty blonde who was looking at Blu-Ray players. I was annoyed because I couldn’t find anyone to help me find the DVD I wanted for my wife’s Mother’s Day present. But of course, I didn’t quite stand out in the same way as this part-time Playboy model did. In the end, I had to go to the in-store computer terminal and find the thing myself. <span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have been in bars where the waiters have literally shouted past three rows of people to ask a scantily-clad blonde what she was drinking. We all look, shouting “Hey, what about us? Waiter! Over here?!”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">You name the situation, I guarantee I’ve been shunned in favor of the beauty queen who graces the establishment with her presence. It’s almost like some girls expect special treatment. Indeed, a very cocky girl I know says that her looks have got her everything from free cab rides to free landscaping. And all because she’s a dead ringer for one of those “Girls Next Door.” </p> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s not always blondes of course, pretty ladies in general seem to have an advantage over those of us with more down to earth looks. Some guys have the edge, too. I’ve often felt like the Hunchback Of Notre Dame when a 6ft chiseled guy with abs of steel has stood next to me at the bar and waved to the bar staff. The girls rush to his aid, the guys want to be his best bud. This may have something to do with <a href="http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/11/halo-effect.html">The Halo Effect</a> , a common term used in business. You can read more about it, but many people out there associate positive (or becoming) looks with other positive traits, like kindness or intelligence.  </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Why, as a society, do we feel the need to give an extra helping hand to people who clearly have already been given an advantage? Why do we suck up to the pretty people? What do we think we’ll gain by it? And what can folks like me, the ordinaries, do to compete with them? I’d love to hear your own stories on the matter. If you’re one of the blondes with ample cleavage for instance, how often have you noticed special treatment? Conversely, did you get the opposite treatment because of your looks?<span>  </span>And if you’re more of a ‘blend in with the crowd’ person, how did you get one-up on the person blessed with a rather nice outer shell?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s strange to think that just the way we look can alter the kind of deals we can get. Online, it rarely makes a difference. I find most of my deals that way. But put me up against someone with the looks of Jessica Simpson and my entire negotiating skills pale in comparison. Fair? Hey, considering the way people react it seems natural to use what you’ve got. (And if I had it, you can bet I’d flaunt it.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-i-wish-i-had-beautiful-long-blonde-hair-and-ample-cleavage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-8-questions-to-get-a-better-price">Ask These 8 Questions to Get a Better Price</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Shopping bargaining beauty blonde deals looks Tue, 13 May 2008 04:01:38 +0000 Paul Michael 2088 at http://www.wisebread.com