negotiating http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9711/all en-US 8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_88219469_LARGE.jpg" alt="mastering negotiating skills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a time when a bit of haggling was expected in nearly every transaction &mdash; from the price of shoes to the cost of a loaf of bread. Sadly, negotiating is usually reserved for home-buying, the purchase of car, and used items these days. Still, knowing how to negotiate effectively can save you (and make you!) big bucks over a lifetime. Here are eight negotiating skills everyone should master.</p> <h2>1. Confidence</h2> <p>The relationship between buyers and sellers has been rigidly established from years of training and a culture where the price tag is almost always the last word. It takes a bit of fortitude to enter a conversation with someone over price, and try to get a better deal. If your confidence is shaky, start with low-stakes purchases at garage sales and flea markets, then work your way up to more significant purchases like cars or a house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate With Confidence and Strike the Best Deal</a>).</p> <h2>2. Speed</h2> <p>Sellers want to move merchandise and they often embrace a &quot;bird in the hand&quot; philosophy to making a deal. With that in mind, sometimes simply being first is all the advantage you need. Keeping your ear to the ground, combing the classifieds, and being the first in line puts you in a position to beat the competition and walk away with great bargains.</p> <h2>3. Sociability</h2> <p>Great deals can be made between adversaries, but not between enemies. No matter what side of the negotiating table you're on, the ability to establish a rapport and keep things friendly and light will serve you well. Remember, negotiation is more of a dance than a death match. The best deals are those where both parties get to walk away relatively pleased.</p> <h2>4. The Poker Face</h2> <p>Imagine you've found the perfect antique hutch for a song at a local flea market. Congratulations. Now keep your emotions in check and start haggling. Remember, part of your leverage is not letting your enthusiasm show and subtly implying you have other options available. Admittedly, this is a fine line to walk and getting it right is more art than science. The key is to push just hard enough to sweeten the deal, but not so hard that it turns sour.</p> <h2>5. Patience</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be awkward, especially for those new to the sport. Stay calm and try not to make the first offer. Why? Because if you're a seller, that price may be significantly less than the buyer was willing to pay. And if you're the buyer, that price may be significantly more than the seller was hoping for. I know, it sounds like a twisted game of chicken, but the person who throws out the first number is usually at a tactical disadvantage.</p> <h2>6. Creativity</h2> <p>Amazing bargains come in all shapes, so don't get hung up on just one way of striking a deal. Try bundling multiple items together for a better value or bartering goods for services and vice versa. Effective negotiation is a creative enterprise, so look for novel ways to make a great deal happen.</p> <h2>7. Preparedness</h2> <p>Successful negotiators may seem casual about it, but they're anything but. They've done their homework, know what an item is worth, know what they're willing pay and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; have cash in-hand to make a deal.</p> <p>If you're negotiating the price of a gently used dining room set for example, avoid dropping this infamous line: &quot;Sounds good, but I didn't bring any cash with me. Can I stop back tomorrow?&quot; An unprepared buyer is simply being a flirt &mdash; one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiating-101-the-5-buyers-you-meet-in-hell">worst types of buyers</a> for serious sellers. Usually, not being able to pull the trigger on a deal means all other potential offers are still in play (and you've wasted your time and the seller's time).</p> <h2>8. Determination</h2> <p>Negotiating can sometimes be a drawn-out process, so a little determination goes a long way. As long as both parties are engaged, keep the conversation going and try to find a middle ground that works for both parties.</p> <p>A recent deal my mom made illustrates this point perfectly. In the market for a larger and more comfortable car, my 78-year-old mother negotiated at a local dealership for six full hours (seriously... the sales staff ordered lunch for her). Ultimately, she got the deal she wanted. Remember, if the terms aren't right, be willing to walk away (or in the case of my mom, stay for lunch, get your second wind, and keep on tryin').</p> <p><em>Are you a skilled negotiator? What's the very best deal you've scored? Share your story!</em></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/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">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-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</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-negotiation-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-deal">10 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Deal</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/help-end-hunger-get-kindled-and-3-more-positive-web-tips-you-should-know-about">Help End Hunger, Get Kindled, and 3 More Positive Web Tips You Should Know About</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/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</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/12-fun-facts-about-valentines-day-spending">12 Fun Facts About Valentine&#039;s Day Spending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips communication skills life hacks life skills money negotiating negotiating skills negotiation saving money Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1754818 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal" 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_bag_83996573.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to convince store clerk to give her a deal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The time and effort required to &quot;extreme coupon&quot; is something that many of us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">would rather pass on</a>. Instead, learn the right questions to ask store employees to score the best deal possible. Sometimes they'll pass along an exclusive coupon, and sometimes they'll drop clues on the best day of the week to shop, or the products they can mark down for you. By knowing the right questions to ask, you can easily maximize your savings on your next shopping trip. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>1. Ask About Markdown Days</h2> <p>Most retailers, both small and large, have specific days of the week when they do their internal store markdowns. Whether it's adding new items to the clearance section, or reducing the price on already reduced clearance products, if you know the &quot;markdown&quot; day, you can shop when the selection is the greatest and actually save some money. Alternatively, if you shop on the day before they do their markdowns, you'll find the clearance section picked over and will offer little of value. Avoid that day if you can by asking when the store does their markdowns.</p> <p>For example, a Macy's employee told me to shop on a Tuesday as they have all their markdowns done by then. Also, if you're a Kohl's shopper, I was told to shop on the 2nd and 4th Saturday every month. The bottom-line is to have the conversation at your favorite store as the information can really help you shop when the clearance section is stacked with fresh deals. I have found that most employees are very open to share this information if you have a friendly chat with them.</p> <h2>2. Ask About Floor Models and Imperfect Items</h2> <p>When I worked at The Home Depot, floor employees were given the authority to markdown imperfect items, scratch and dents, and floor models in order to clear them out of the store quickly. This included marking down damaged packaging that did not affect the quality of the actual product.</p> <p>I can remember having regular customers who would ask me specifically if we had any such items that they could get a deal on. I'd then happily point to them the products I could mark down for them and they often got stuff for 25%&ndash;30% off the original retail price. Start asking employees at stores like The Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Walmart about deals on floor items and imperfect stuff. If you can't find any specific items to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">ask for a discount</a>, then just ask an employee, &quot;Do you have any screaming deals on floor models or scratch and dents?&quot; Then just follow them to the real deals in the store.</p> <h2>3. Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Many retailers arm their employees with special coupons and discounts to freely hand out to customers in an effort to build store loyalty and goodwill. So if you're shopping in-store, and you can't find a coupon via your smartphone, start a polite conversation with an employee and ask if they might have a coupon to use. You have absolutely nothing to lose and significant savings to gain. JCPenney, Macy's, Old Navy, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, and Cost Plus are a few of the stores where this has been known to work effectively.</p> <h2>4. Expired Coupon? Use It Anyway</h2> <p>Have you ever been on a shopping trip and pulled a coupon out of your purse or wallet only to realize it expired last week? For a frugal shopper, it can be a sickening feeling. Next time this happens, still try to use the expired coupon as often the cashier will say, &quot;Oh sorry, this one is expired. But I have one here by the register that you can use.&quot; They'll then scan it for you and you'll save some cash. Stores where I have used this strategy successfully include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Harbor Freight Tools.</p> <h2>5. Find Out Which Items You Can Negotiate</h2> <p>It's no secret that retailers have certain products that offer a larger profit margin than others. I recently had a Best Buy employee tell me that products with a bigger profit margin are the items they can negotiate a lower price on. He went on to say that high-end TVs often have more wiggle room in price than those in the $250&ndash;$500 range.</p> <p>Use this information to your advantage and try to politely negotiate a lower price on higher end electronics. If you're worried about looking cheap, try the &quot;bundling&quot; technique. This is when you bundle a TV with a Blu-ray player and ask for a 15% discount if you buy both on the spot. This will also often work at big-box home improvement stores. Think things like a lawn mower purchased with a weed eater, or chain saw with a carrying case and new chain.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Upcoming Sales</h2> <p>When I worked retail, I always had some insider knowledge on upcoming sales events or exclusive coupons and rebates. Most floor employees at big-box retailers have an idea of when prices will probably get better. So ask them when they recommend you should buy to maximize your savings. They'll often tell you to come back on a specific day or weekend as everything will be on sale or when there will be a great coupon available. In either case, just by asking, you can easily get some insider knowledge that'll save you some money.</p> <p><em>What outside-the-box tricks do you use to score a great deal?</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/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">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/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</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-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</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-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying coupons discounts negotiating retail saving money strategy Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Kyle James 1732053 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_girl_dad_000071538069.jpg" alt="Little girl learning personal finance skills everyone should master" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was happy to see that my son signed up to take a personal finance class in high school next year. I think mastering basic personal finance skills is one of the most important things you can do to improve your happiness and quality of life. But you're a full-fledged adult. If you haven't already, the earlier you start developing and using personal finance skills, the more time you have to reap the benefits.</p> <p>Here is my list of personal finance skills every frugal person should master.</p> <h2>1. Budgeting</h2> <p>Setting and following a budget is probably the most basic personal finance skill, yet only about one-third of people actually have a detailed budget. I went for years without an accurate budget, using my checking account balance as a rough gauge of how much money I had available to spend. Eventually, I realized this was a terrible way to run my personal finances. A detailed budget is necessary to get a handle on where your money is going and to start deciding where you <em>want </em>your money to go &mdash; instead of just watching it go away!</p> <p>Writing out a list of all of your income and expenses is only the first step toward becoming skilled at budgeting. You need to monitor spending and work to stay on track every month. Sometimes unexpected expenses will pop up, and it takes skill to find ways to spend less in other areas to recover and stay on budget.</p> <p>You can get a real budget started by looking at your bank statements and credit card bills from last month and adding up spending by category. I used colored highlighters to mark up my spending into categories such as food, clothing, pets, entertainment, transportation, housing, utilities, etc.</p> <p>Food expenses are especially challenging for me, since food cost varies so much depending on what you decide to eat. In my household, we use a money envelope as a tool to help us stay on our food budget. Every payday, I take out cash for the budgeted amount for food spending, both groceries and dining out. All food spending comes out of the money envelope, so we always know how much is left to spend on food.</p> <h2>2. Negotiation</h2> <p>Negotiation is a key skill to master to get the best deal when buying or selling something, or even getting the best salary and benefits when accepting a job offer. Most people do not like to negotiate. It is easiest to pay the asking price, or accept the amount offered from a buyer or employer. But if you become skilled at negotiation, you can end up with lots more dollars in your pocket instead of in the other guy's pocket!</p> <p>Here are some skills that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">successful negotiators master</a>:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Be willing to walk</strong>. Successful negotiators are willing to walk away if they can't get a good deal. Willingness to walk away gives you the confidence to ask for what you really want and drive a hard bargain. Often, you'll learn things in deals that don't work out that help you get a better deal in the future.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Be reasonable.</strong> Good negotiators understand the market value of what they are negotiating and can understand the deal from the other party's perspective. If you seek an unreasonable deal, you are likely wasting everyone's time and won't end up with anything.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Be perceptive</strong>. They pick up clues from the other party to determine what kind of offer they would accept and use this information to negotiate the best deal possible.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Separating Needs vs. Wants</h2> <p>Do I need a new computer? My kids say that I do. I am using the same computer they used to play games on way back when George W. Bush was in office. I sometimes use my cellphone to look things up while my computer slowly loads a webpage. But I don't need new computer. I can still get everything done with my old computer, including paying bills, updating my budget spreadsheet, and even writing books and articles for extra income.</p> <p>Separating needs from wants is a key personal finance skill. There is almost no limit to bigger, better, and newer stuff that you could decide to buy. The best way to make spending decisions is to become disciplined at distinguishing needs from wants.</p> <p>I like to think about the consequences of not buying something as a tool to distinguish needs from wants. For example, if I don't buy the new shoes I am considering, will I not be able to go to work? Will I miss events for my kids because I don't have any shoes that are acceptable to wear? Will I not be able to exercise safely? At some point new shoes can become a need, but if your old shoes are still doing everything you need your shoes to do, then new shoes are a want.</p> <h2>4. Driving Down Interest Rates</h2> <p>A lot of people carry debt &mdash; the total credit card debt for Americans is set to hit $1 trillion dollars this year. Of course, your best move is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">pay off debt as quickly as possible</a> to reduce your interest payments and to free up your money to invest or pursue other opportunities. But while you are paying off debt, it is worth putting in some effort to keep your interest rates as low as possible.</p> <p>The average credit card interest rate is nearly 15%. If you have credit card debt and don't keep an eye on the interest rate, you could easily end up paying 15% or more. Shopping around can almost always result in a better deal. If you have a good credit rating, you can likely find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-balance-transfer-credit-card-is-the-best-for-you?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">a balance transfer offer</a> that will allow you to pay a balance transfer fee of about 3% and 0% interest for a year or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best 0% APR Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>I count maintaining favorable interest rates as a personal finance skill because you have to keep track of interest rates on your accounts and continuously find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">good deals on balance transfers</a>. This skill can save you thousands of dollars per year on interest.</p> <h2>5. Continuous Investment</h2> <p>People who are financially successful do more than reduce spending and save money. They take the next step and invest money that they free up through smart spending decisions.</p> <p>This investment mentality is what allows the small amount of money you avoid spending to grow into real wealth that can change your lifestyle and allow you the freedom to pursue your interests. Regular saving over time adds up &mdash; even with small investment amounts.</p> <p>Continuous investment requires discipline to keep investing money for the future rather than spending it now. Savvy investors assess what kind of investments to buy and manage their investment portfolio based on economic trends and the performance of their investments.</p> <p>The most important factor in being a successful investor is to make regular investments over the long term and let your wealth grow.</p> <h2>6. Bargain Hunting</h2> <p>Frugal people are known for having good bargain hunting skills. Making a purchase is a challenge to find the way to spend the least amount of money to get what is needed. Bargain hunting usually involves using coupons and shopping around to find the best price.</p> <p>Sometimes buying a used item rather than a new item is the best bargain &mdash; you can save 50% or more buying used instead of new. Items such as tools or vehicles that are useful for years make good used purchases, but technology products often become obsolete so fast that buying new can be the best deal.</p> <p>Buying at the right time can be a key to finding bargains. I am always shocked at how cheap winter clothes and coats sell for in March at clearance sales. I bought most of my winter clothes for 90% off! Keep an eye out for bargains at store closing sales and clearance sales for items you know you will use later.</p> <p>An important part of bargain hunting is deciding on the best item to buy. If you can figure out the least expensive item that meets your needs, and then find the best price on that item, you are on your way to mastering bargain hunting skills.</p> <h2>7. Reuse</h2> <p>There is an old saying &quot;Waste not, want not&quot; that summarizes the personal finance skill of reuse well. If you don't waste anything, you will have plenty and not want for anything. I recently got into a conversation with my father about the oldest clothing item that we are still wearing. I mentioned that I still wear a lot of my 20-year-old clothes I got back in college. My father mentioned that he was currently wearing a shirt that is nearly 40 years old!</p> <p>Reusing things that most people would throw away is a key skill to save money and live well with less. When I was younger, I would always prefer to have new clothes rather than wear old clothes. Now I find comfort from the familiarity of wearing clothes with lots of memories attached to them. It seems like older stuff was constructed better than newer items, anyway.</p> <p>I think a lot of people are in the habit of throwing old things away just because they are old. Learn to keep reusing items until they no longer work, and then use them for something else. When my t-shirts start wearing out, I get sunburned through the holes in the fabric. Is it time to throw the shirt away? No! I use it for a rag.</p> <h2>8. Food Preparation</h2> <p>It is amazing how much restaurant food, fast food, and prepared food items from the grocery store people are buying these days. It does take some planning and work to prepare your own food at home, but you can save a ton of money and eat healthier, too.</p> <p>In addition to having basic cooking skills and equipment, having a plan is key to mastering the skill of preparing your own food at home. I know it works best at my house when we make a list of meals and the buy groceries with these meals in mind. Sometimes we even write on the calendar what is for dinner to avoid not coming up with something and ending up with expensive restaurant food.</p> <h2>9. Do It Yourself (DIY)</h2> <p>It seems like everyone that comes to my house to do something charges about $60 to $100 per hour. I try to minimize paying people to come over and try to take care of maintenance and repairs myself instead to save money. I learned to do basic plumbing repairs and installation, including sweating copper pipes with a torch. I can do basic electrical wiring and repairs. Some people in my neighborhood have landscaping companies take care of mowing and weed control, but not me. The more things you can do for yourself, the more money you can save.</p> <p>Develop skills to do work for yourself instead of paying others to do it for you. You'll save money and get a great feeling of satisfaction when you can do the work yourself.</p> <h2>10. Saying No</h2> <p>Saying &quot;no&quot; is often the key to saving time and money. Would you like to subscribe to a magazine you don't want in order to help your neighbor's kid meet a fundraising goal? How about &quot;no.&quot; Would you like to volunteer to drive 20 miles each way to participate in a committee meeting on your day off? Again, &quot;no&quot; works well here. There are times when you might want to contribute your time and money to a worthy cause, but there are many times you feel pressured into taking on something you don't really want to do.</p> <p>Learning to say &quot;no&quot; and not feel bad about it can save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation.</p> <h2>11. Efficiency</h2> <p>Efficiency is the skill of doing as much as possible with the least amount of resources. Efficiency can mean making a single trip to do all of your shopping instead of taking multiple trips. Efficiency can mean driving a smaller vehicle that costs less and uses less fuel every day.</p> <p>Often, efficiency keeps paying back over time. For example, the efficient choice to live in a smaller house results in a lower mortgage payment and lower utility bills year after year.</p> <p>Energy savings is another example of efficiency in action. I spent a few hours and a few dollars to upgrade most of my light bulbs to LED. Due to this efficiency, I save money every month since lighting my house now costs almost nothing.</p> <p>Another form of efficiency is simply having less stuff. Do you really need eight different kinds of cleaning products under your kitchen sink? Having less stuff not only costs less, but less stuff takes less space as well. With fewer things around, it is easier to keep things organized and find what you need.</p> <h2>12. Contentment</h2> <p>I am sure that you can live with less, but can you be happy with less?</p> <p>Contentment is living with a positive attitude and being satisfied for all of the things you have instead of wishing that you had blingy stuff. I drive an 11-year-old car that runs well. It even has leather seats and all wheel drive. What more do I need?</p> <p>People might not get a sense of status from the vehicle I drive, but I am clearly beyond worrying about that. Part of being content with what you have is to stop caring about what other people think. People who know me respect my work and my accomplishments, and I am not really concerned about what strangers think about my car.</p> <p>Contentment means setting your own standard for happiness. This can be difficult to achieve as you look at the photos of expensive vacations, recreational vehicles, and new cars that your friends post on Facebook. It is hard not to want expensive stuff when it seems like everyone else is buying it.</p> <p>But the problem with pursuing happiness by buying expensive stuff is that there is always something else you'll need to buy in order to be happy. As soon as you get back from vacation, it is time to start thinking about where to go for the next one. After your new car isn't the newest on the block anymore, the excitement is gone. Buying happiness is like chasing a mirage. You can't really reach happiness through buying things, but you can spend a lot of money trying!</p> <p>Contentment is about finding happiness in the life you have right now, not the life you could have if only you had more money.</p> <p><em>Which personal finance skills would you master to improve your life the most?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">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/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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/3-pearls-of-financial-wisdom-from-dave-ramsey">3 Pearls of Financial Wisdom From Dave Ramsey</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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</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/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living advice budgeting investments needs negotiating saving money skills wants wisdom Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1731280 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Monthly Telecom Bills You Can Negotiate http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_contract_000082844775.jpg" alt="Woman finding companies she should be negotiating a lower bill with" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Opening and paying the monthly bills is usually something we dread. This is especially true if you feel you&rsquo;re being gouged by your cable, phone, or wireless provider. But with just a little bit of knowledge on the proper way to call and negotiate a lower bill, you can easily save hundreds of dollars per year. Here are six telecom companies notorious for working with customers to lower their bill, along with some insider negotiation tips for each.</p> <h2>1. DirecTV</h2> <p>When it comes to negotiating a lower monthly bill with DirecTV, the first thing you have to do is analyze the competition, namely Dish Network. DirecTV is typically more expensive than Dish, which makes the &ldquo;competition is cheaper&rdquo; card great ammunition when making the phone call to DirecTV customer service. Find out what current specials Dish is offering and use those when explaining why you&rsquo;re considering leaving DirecTV. This will typically only work when you&rsquo;re not under contract, as they can&rsquo;t do much for you when you&rsquo;re locked into a specific rate for a set period of time.</p> <p>When making the call, tell the first person you speak with that you&rsquo;d like to cancel your service as it&rsquo;s more than you can afford right now. They&rsquo;ll then transfer you to the retention department, who are the folks who have the authority to actually lower your bill. Then explain why you&rsquo;re considering switching to Dish Network and be as specific as possible. In other words, tell them exactly what Dish is offering new customers and ask if they can meet it, or at the very least get close to it. Be polite and conversational in tone, and you&rsquo;ll be pleasantly surprised with the result of a lower monthly bill, in most cases.</p> <h2>2. Dish Network</h2> <p>Same drill with Dish Network. Tell the first person you speak with that you want to cancel your service, and they&rsquo;ll get you to the customer loyalty or retention department. When it comes to negotiating a lower monthly bill with Dish, it&rsquo;s important to understand that they&rsquo;re already lower in price than DirecTV. This means that in most cases, you can&rsquo;t say you&rsquo;re switching to DirecTV, because they&rsquo;re already cheaper.</p> <p>Instead, you should tell them you&rsquo;re considering <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans">cutting the cord entirely</a> by switching to an over-the-air HD antennae and cheap streaming options like Netflix and Hulu. These &ldquo;other&rdquo; options serve as excellent ammunition when talking to Dish. Stick to the facts, don&rsquo;t get emotionally involved, and remember that you can simply call back later if the person is having a bad day and not willing to work with you.</p> <p>Once you&lsquo;ve told them why you want to leave, they should offer you something to stay on as a loyal customer. You can also take the bull by the horns and start the conversation by asking for $15&ndash;$25 off your monthly bill depending on what package you subscribe to. You can also ask for a few free movie channels if that means more to you. Remember that they&rsquo;ve invested a lot to get and keep you as a customer, and are willing to throw you a bone to keep your business. Always be willing to take your business elsewhere if they can&rsquo;t come close to what you want. If you actually don&rsquo;t want to leave and they won&rsquo;t budge, you can always say you want to reconsider other options before canceling.</p> <h2>3. Comcast</h2> <p>I recently had an anonymous Comcast retention employee give me the scoop on what to say to get your bill lowered. She told me that the worst thing you can do is tell the rep that you&rsquo;re switching to a competitor. Instead, she said to tell them you want to stay with Comcast but can&rsquo;t afford your monthly bill and will have to switch to a streaming service if the bill can&rsquo;t be lowered. She even said that Sling TV was the best streaming option to use as ammunition. She said that in most cases this will work and get you up to 20% off your monthly bill, as that percentage is the biggest discount they can offer.</p> <p>Lastly, she told me not to ask to speak to a supervisor as that will typically only get you a call-back request that rarely happens. Plus, they are authorized to offer the same discounts as the retention employee, so it&rsquo;s not worth your time.</p> <h2>4. Verizon</h2> <p>Verizon can be a tricky company to convince to lower your bill. They have created a coverage map that beats the competition and they know that many customers are bluffing when playing the &ldquo;cancel card&rdquo; to try and negotiate a lower bill. Because of this, it&rsquo;s important that you do ample research on the competition before making the call. What are Republic Wireless, T-Mobile, and Straight Talk currently offering, and how long will it take you to recoup your money, in terms of savings, if you have to pay to get out of your Verizon contract?</p> <p>By having these numbers at your disposal when making the call, the Verizon rep will sense your seriousness and often offer you a lower rate in return. I recently did this and was able to secure $10 off my bill for 12 months. Not a huge savings, but I really didn&rsquo;t want to leave Verizon as I live in a rural area where Verizon is my only coverage option.</p> <h2>5. AT&amp;T Wireless</h2> <p>While you may not be able to negotiate a lower rate with AT&amp;T the old-fashioned way, you can get rid of services you don&rsquo;t need and look for little-known discounts. Start by analyzing your bill very carefully as AT&amp;T is notorious for sneaking in add-on services like AT&amp;T Navigator, Family Map, enhanced voicemail, and smart limits. If you don&rsquo;t use them, get rid of them immediately. Also, check to see if you&rsquo;re <a href="https://www.wireless.att.com/business/enrollment/">eligible for an employer discount</a>. Many organizations work directly with AT&amp;T to offer their employees a pretty sweet discount so be sure you&rsquo;re not missing out.</p> <h2>6. Time Warner Cable</h2> <p>Time Warner is notorious for raising your rate without informing you as to why. So once you get a rate you&rsquo;re happy with, be sure to keep it by calling them every 12 months. Simply call their customer service line, be polite, and get straight to the point by telling them you want to keep your low rate for another 12 months. If the operator is unwilling to extend your rate for another year, simply hang up and try back later. Be persistent and you&rsquo;ll eventually get an employee willing to work with you and help you keep your low rate for another year.</p> <p><em>What bills, if any, do you consistently try to&nbsp;</em><em>negotiate a lower rate on?</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/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate">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/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time">10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time</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/what-net-neutrality-means-for-your-wallet">What Net Neutrality Means For Your Wallet</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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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-everyday-things-that-are-surprisingly-awesome-investments">7 Everyday Things That Are Surprisingly Awesome Investments</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living bills cable Internet negotiating service providers wireless Mon, 09 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Kyle James 1699777 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Buy Your Leased Car? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-your-leased-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-buy-your-leased-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_car_000085912661.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should buy her leased car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even after two or three years of driving a leased vehicle, you may find yourself wanting to stay attached to your &quot;rented&quot; car. The good news is that the relationship doesn't have to end.</p> <p>Leasing companies are happy to sell you the car for its residual value &mdash; what the leasing and finance companies determined at the start of the lease to be its expected value at the term's end. But before you make that commitment, there's some homework you should do first to make sure it's financially worthwhile. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a>)</p> <h2>How Much Is It?</h2> <p>Find the contract for your leased car and look for the &quot;purchase-option price&quot; or &quot;residual value.&quot; That's the price you'll have to pay to buy the car, along with a purchase-option fee of $300 to $600. Some leasing companies won't bargain with you on residual price when the lease is up, while others will negotiate. But before you can negotiate, you need to know the market value of the car, so you know whether it's worth buying your leased car at its residual value.</p> <p>For how much could you buy the car for from another dealer or from a private seller? That's the retail or market value. It may be lower than your car's residual value, giving you a great advantage in negotiating a lower buyout price.</p> <p>You also want to determine the car's wholesale value. That's the price the leasing company can get for it at auction, which is its only option if it doesn't sell the car to a dealer.</p> <p>You should be able to determine your car's value by searching online, such as at Kelley Blue Book or CarPrice.com. Unless your leased car was extremely popular, chances are its residual value is higher than the market value.</p> <h2>What Shape Is Your Car In?</h2> <p>You're responsible for the car's condition at the end of the lease term, and how many dings, scrapes, and miles you put on it will play a part in how much you pay to buy it. Even if you don't buy the car, you'll have to pay for those things, anyway.</p> <p>Leases only allow up to a certain number of miles per year &mdash; usually 12,000 &mdash; and going over that will cost you an extra amount per mile. The fee could be as high as 25 cents per extra mile, adding up to $250 for every 1,000 miles over the limit. You can avoid the fee by buying the car.</p> <p>Any dents and scratches on your leased car will result in a penalty fee from the leasing company. One way to avoid those penalties is to buy the car, though those dings are things you'll have to live with.</p> <h2>They'll Call You</h2> <p>If you've determined that the market value is more than the purchase-option price of your leased car, or you're happy with the residual value of the car and you want to buy it, don't make the first move.</p> <p>The company will probably call you one to two months before the lease ends to see if you're open to purchasing the leased car. If you call first, it could show that you're eager to buy the car and your negotiating power could drop. Before they call, you can get ahead of the game by shopping for a lease-buyout loan. Local banks, credit unions, and online lenders can offer you rates, which you can pitch to the leasing company if it wants to finance your buyback loan.</p> <p>When the leasing company does call, don't immediately tell them that you want to buy the car. Tell them you don't like the residual value and ask if they'll knock down the purchase price. Can they give you a better deal on the loan or waive the purchase-option fee? If you know your car's market value, you're a step ahead in the negotiating process. All of this homework may look like a lot, but it's a lot less work than starting from scratch and shopping for a new car.</p> <p>After all, the car is already in your driveway and you've driven it for years. You know if it's a car you want to continue driving. Now all you have to do is get it at the best price you can.</p> <p><em>Have you ever purchased the car you leased?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-your-leased-car">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/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</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-magic-words-to-say-to-get-the-best-new-car-price">10 Magic Words to Say to Get the Best New Car 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/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car</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/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</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/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-sell-your-car">5 Questions to Ask Before You Sell Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation dealerships kelley blue book lease leased cars negotiating purchase price residual value Thu, 05 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1703005 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Debt While Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-debt-while-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-debt-while-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000050909676_Large.jpg" alt="trying to manage debt while unemployed" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're unemployed, it can be harder than ever to manage your debt. But with the right strategy, you can stop worrying about debt and start focusing on finding a new job. Here's how to get a handle on your debt during unemployment:</p> <h2>Assess Your Assets</h2> <p>First consider all assets and possible sources of income available to you. Can you accept part-time work, sell belongings on eBay, or take a local babysitting gig to make a little extra cash for the necessities? This can make it easier to stay afloat and make your minimum monthly payments on-time. And if you haven't already done so, visit the <a href="http://www.dol.gov/">U.S. Department of Labor</a> to apply for unemployment benefits.</p> <h2>Create a Survival Budget</h2> <p>Determine what your basic living expenses are, such as food, mortgage, utilities, transportation, insurance, and medical costs. Create a budget that details every single dime you spend each month so that you can determine what can be cut during this time. Once you find new employment, try to stick to this survival budget so that you have extra funds available to pay down debt or invest in an emergency savings fund.</p> <p>Assess your remaining costs to determine if there is anything that can be cut. For instance, try reducing your credit card and cable bills, forego the land line, cancel any magazine subscriptions, cut back on entertainment expenses and streaming services, and reduce or eliminate costly habits (such as drinking, smoking, and eating out). Look for other creative ways to save money, such as relying on public transportation and finding easy ways to cut back on utilities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed</a>)</p> <h2>Set Priorities</h2> <p>Prioritize your debts. Determine which bills need to be paid first, once your basic living expenses are taken care of. Secured credit accounts, like credit cards, loans, and car payments should be paid next.</p> <p>The goal is to preserve your savings, so don't try paying off any debts early at this point. Make only the minimum payments on your credit cards and avoid using any sort of credit for as long as possible. Once you find new employment, you can start working on paying down your debts as quickly and efficiently as possible.</p> <p>If you have a federally-backed student loan, there are a number of payment options available during tough times. Often, the loans can be deferred until you find work again. Check with the <a href="http://www.ed.gov/">U.S. Department of Education</a> for more information.</p> <h2>Negotiate With Creditors</h2> <p>Speak with your mortgage lender and credit card issuers at the first sign of trouble. If you wait to contact them until after you've already missed a payment, it's less likely creditors will work with you to find a reasonable solution.</p> <p>Your creditors may be able to help you ease loan terms, reduce your monthly payments, or even put your payments on hold for a short period of time. While there are no guarantees that they will work out an arrangement with you, it's worth a shot.</p> <h2>Pursue Alternatives</h2> <p>There are alternative options, such as debt management, debt settlement, debt consolidation loans, and bankruptcy. Speaking with a <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/">credit counselor</a> can provide you with precise information on the options available to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-steps-to-take-when-bankruptcy-is-your-only-option?ref=seealso">11 Steps to Take When Bankruptcy Is Your Only Option</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for dealing with debt when you're unemployed? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-debt-while-unemployed">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/how-to-deal-with-collection-agencies">How to Deal With Collection Agencies</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/how-to-get-back-on-track-when-youre-behind-on-your-bills">How to Get Back on Track When You&#039;re Behind on Your Bills</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/should-you-pay-down-debt-first-or-invest">Should You Pay Down Debt First or Invest?</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-do-a-one-day-do-it-yourself-bankruptcy">How to Do a One-Day, Do-It-Yourself Bankruptcy</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/how-to-allocate-your-cash-when-you-are-broke">How to Allocate Your Cash When You Are Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Creditors negotiating out of work Paying Off Debt survival budget unemployed Mon, 02 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1700680 at http://www.wisebread.com Get More Money for Your Stuff With These Retail Secrets http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-money-for-your-stuff-with-these-retail-secrets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-more-money-for-your-stuff-with-these-retail-secrets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clothing_store_owner_000085125681.jpg" alt="Woman using retail pricing secrets to earn more" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to move product like a boss in the retail arena? Implement a few of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys" target="_blank">pricing secrets used by consumer giants</a> (even if you're a bit player in the online game) to see an uptick in sales.</p> <h2>Use a Colored Tag System</h2> <p>Help your customers easily discern what's full price and what's marked to move with a color-coded tagging system. Home Depot, for example, uses white tags to indicate full price items and yellow tags for clearance merchandise, says <a href="http://smatterist.com/6388/secrets-retailers-dont-want-you-to-know-about-their-price-tag-codes/">Smatterist</a>. This, of course, only works if you have physical items and buyers you can watch, but you'll definitely see what customers gravitate to if they can easily decipher what's on sale and what isn't.</p> <h2>Place Clearance and Sale Items in the Back of the &quot;Store&quot;</h2> <p>Placing clearance and other marked-to-move items in the back of the store is an industry best practice. How do I know? Because I'm conditioned (and you probably are, too) to head straight to the back of the retailer's setup to discover the can't-be-beat deals. Another reason this strategy is attractive to so many retailers is that you have to walk past all the new arrivals and full-priced items along the way &mdash; and they're hoping you'll find something you like there, too. If they put the sale stuff up front, you likely wouldn't venture past that section, and neither will your customers.</p> <h2>Offer Discounts on Damaged Goods</h2> <p>Recently I was shopping at West Elm to furnish a new home I purchased. I had a good idea of most of the items I wanted, but I also took a look around the store for items I knew I needed but hadn't yet settled on from other retailers. In the front window of the store and also in a corner on the second level were items designated as &quot;floor models&quot; that I was told were discounted heavily because they needed to make space for new-season arrivals. As such, I scored a dining table for about $500 off the original price, and two large area rugs, for 50% and 70% off, respectively.</p> <p>These items aren't without their flaws, mind you &mdash; the glass tabletop has a small scratch on it, and the rugs have been walked on by other people &mdash; but everything was still in great enough condition to overlook the minor damage considering the excellent price.</p> <p>If you have stuff that's still perfectly good, but marked by use, drop the price so it's still attractive despite whatever imperfections it may have and make those flaws a feature. If the customer feels like they're walking away with a bargain, those little dents and dings won't matter a bit.</p> <h2>Establish BOGO Deals if You Need to Move Inventory</h2> <p>If you have an abundance of inventory &mdash; maybe you came upon a surplus of items from a recent treasure hunt &mdash; consider offering a buy-one-get-one promotion to get the product out of the store and, thus, money in your pocket faster.</p> <h2>Price Your Items Higher With Room for Negotiation</h2> <p>Whenever I sell items online or at a yard sale, I price them for what I'd like to get for them &mdash; and that's typically higher than what I reasonably think people will pay for the items. And it's all very carefully planned out. I price items this way, because I know people will haggle. Considering the arrival of the eventual bargain hunter, then, I'm putting myself in a position to lower the price to one that they can handle and still walk away satisfied that the final price was one with which I can be happy.</p> <h2>Undercut the Competition</h2> <p>I run a couple businesses myself, though admittedly none of which deal with physical merchandise, but my strategy is always the same: Undercut the competition. If you have a quality product or service and your prices/fees are below the competition, the customers will come. Just don't slash your prices so low that you don't make any money. That's the best way to go bankrupt, which is definitely not this strategy's endgame.</p> <h2>Earn a Little More From Shipping and Other &quot;Fees&quot;</h2> <p>If you're an avid online seller &mdash; eBay, for instance &mdash; you already know that shipping fees can add a few extra bucks to your bottom line with each transaction. All of us have become accustomed to paying these fees when shopping online, so there's not much danger in turning the customer off &mdash; especially if you're a small, mom-and-pop-type retailer. But you want to make sure these fees are proportionate to the product and remain affordable. What I mean by that is if you're selling clothing, you can't charge $20 for shipping like you could an item with more weight, like sports equipment. Just be insightful enough to keep the fees acceptable so there's no red flag from the customer's side and you'll walk away a winner.</p> <p><em>What tricks do you use to help move your stuff faster?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-money-for-your-stuff-with-these-retail-secrets">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/10-things-you-should-always-buy-and-sell-on-ebay">10 Things You Should Always Buy and Sell on eBay</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-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</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-secrets-to-scoring-the-best-price-when-buying-on-ebay">7 Secrets to Scoring the Best Price When Buying on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping eBay negotiating pricing secrets retail sales strategies selling Fri, 22 Apr 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1691582 at http://www.wisebread.com Protect Future Earnings by Negotiating the Right Starting Salary http://www.wisebread.com/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000057902276_Large.jpg" alt="negotiating the right starting salary" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is how we all survive, and hopefully, also thrive. So it's no surprise that your starting salary can have a huge impact on your future salary and wellbeing. A small difference in pay now can mean a big difference later. Set yourself up for success down the road by getting a fair starting salary now.</p> <h2>A Small Increase Makes a Big Difference</h2> <p>Earning a little bit more now can mean a big difference in your future savings and accumulated income. Thanks to compound interest, investing or saving money earlier on will result in more gains later.</p> <p>Every year that we face inflation, each dollar you earn is worth less. That means your overall salary will be worth less every year that you don't receive a raise over the inflation rate. Starting with a higher salary can help provide a cushion from inflation and the risk of not receiving raises.</p> <h2>Effects on Future Salaries</h2> <p>Your starting salary now will serve as the foundation for your future salary. In fact, Forbes declared that your first starting salary is the most crucial of them all. Your starting salary now will become what you expect to be earning later.</p> <p>If you decide to start a job elsewhere, you can request a higher starting salary than you currently have. Your new employer will also want to know what your starting and ending salaries were at your last position to begin negotiations. If you had a high salary before, chances are you can expect to make that same amount at the new company (or more). They will also want to know about your previous raises, so having higher raises now can also mean a higher starting salary later.</p> <h2>Effects on Future Raises</h2> <p>Raises are never guaranteed, so starting at a higher salary can help protect you in the event that you don't receive a raise anytime soon. If you do receive a raise, they are often awarded on a percentage basis, so having a higher starting salary will result in a higher raise.</p> <p>For instance, if you accept a position at $40,000 and receive a 5% raise every year, you'll receive a $2,000 raise in the first year. If you had negotiated the starting salary to $45,000, your first-year raise would be $2,250. After 20 years, your salary will be $106,131.91 if you had accepted the initial $40,000 offer (with a 5% increase every year); it would be $119,398.40 if you had negotiated to $45,000 in the beginning. Just imagine what you could do with all the extra money.</p> <h2>Effects on Benefits</h2> <p>Benefits are often based on a percentage of your compensation. Starting with a higher salary means you will likely receive a better benefits package as well. For instance, if you have employer-sponsored retirement benefits, they will be investing more money into your future retirement if it is based on a percentage of your salary.</p> <h2>Negotiating Is Key</h2> <p>Your employer is likely going to negotiate your salary anyways, so it is better to start high. This way, even if they negotiate your pay downwards, you will still probably be happy. You may not get <em>exactly </em>what you ask for, so starting higher means that when the company negotiates lower, you will still make out well.</p> <p>The key to success is in finding the perfect negotiation amount. Go in equipped with the average pay in your field, your starting and ending salaries at your last position, and information on your raises over time. Make sure to sell yourself and your abilities so that you have greater negotiating power.</p> <p>It's also important that you choose the right timing to negotiate. The best time is during the final rounds of interviews after you've been offered the job, but before you sign any contracts. At this time, the employer will already be impressed and want to sign you on.</p> <p>Don't feel nervous about negotiating &mdash; your future employer is most likely expecting it. If you don't negotiate, you may be turning your back on money that was there for the taking. Remember, the worst thing they can say is &quot;no.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-higher-pay-at-your-next-new-job?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job</a>)</p> <h2>The Potential Risks</h2> <p>While there are a variety of benefits associated with having a higher salary, there are also a few potential risks. Having a higher salary than your colleagues can make you more vulnerable at layoff time. It can also make it more difficult for you to land a future job because they may consider you overqualified &mdash; or overcompensated. Unusual factors like your high school grades, previous employer references, and even your credit report can affect your starting salary, so the best thing you can do is prepare an impressive resume, ace your interviews, and go in prepared with the right information.</p> <p><em>Have you felt the effects of negotiating for a higher salary? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/protect-future-earnings-by-negotiating-the-right-starting-salary">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/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</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/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary</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/are-you-underpaid-how-to-figure-out-what-salary-you-deserve">Are You Underpaid? How to Figure Out What Salary You Deserve</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/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</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-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income income jobs making money money negotiating salary salary negotiation starting salary Mon, 11 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1687441 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000078308635.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to buy a used car without getting ripped off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone knows you can save a ton of money buying a used vehicle instead of a new one. But how are you supposed to buy a used car without getting ripped off?</p> <p>Used car sellers are notorious for skillfully covering up expensive mechanical problems when selling used cars, and to make matters worse, used cars are often sold without any warranty at all! Even though used cars cost thousands less than new ones, overpaying for a used car can still be a significant financial setback.</p> <p>How can you get a great deal on a reliable vehicle that fits your budget and come out a winner in the used car game? Here is the method that I have followed to buy several great used cars without paying too much. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set Your Car Budget Before You Start Shopping</h2> <p>As with buying most things, one of the big potential problems when buying a used car is simply spending more than you intended to spend. When car shopping, it is easy to be drawn to newer models with lower miles. You can always find a little bit nicer car if you are willing to pay a little bit more money.</p> <p>The best way to avoid getting drawn into spending more than you can afford is to set a budget first, before you even start looking at cars. Decide how much you are willing and able to spend on a used car and have this number clear in your mind before you start looking. The budget for my last car was set at $5,000 before we started shopping.</p> <h2>2. Select Your Target Vehicle Model</h2> <p>Next, think about how you will use the car. Is there a chance you could need to haul kids or pets? Will you want to use the car to help move your stuff to your next house? Will you need to tow anything?</p> <p>Even though gas prices are low, driving a car that gets 15 MPG still costs twice as much as driving one that gets 30 MPG! Pick the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs and you will save money on gas every time you drive.</p> <p>Based on your current and anticipated needs, start picking out makes and models that are of interest. Car lots can be a good place to get ideas for vehicles that would work for you, but don't let a salesperson pressure you into buying anything until you have finished your research.</p> <p>Check book prices using a site such as <a href="http://kbb.com">Kelley Blue Book</a> to see what model years and mileage would fit within your budget. Use <a href="http://consumerreports.org">Consumer Reports</a> to see reliability ratings, and check the <a href="http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings">Insurance Institute for Highway Safety</a> to review crash safety ratings for the make, model, and year of several vehicles. Look on Craigslist for local car lots to see what models are available in your area.</p> <p>Based on the results of your research, narrow your field to the best make and model for you. Based on book price, select a range of a couple model years that are likely to fall within your budget.</p> <p>After you have selected a make and model that meets your needs and a range of model years that will fit your budget, get familiar with the options that are available. One good thing about buying used cars is that options don't affect the price much; you just need to make sure to find a car that has the options that are important to you. If you really want leather seats or a towing package, it won't cost much more if you can find a car that has these options installed.</p> <h2>3. Test Drive Your Target Model</h2> <p>Next, it's time to set up some test drives. Your goal is to test drive several cars of your target make and model, in your budgeted price range, with your preferred options. The condition of used cars varies a lot. With some patience, you can find one in the best condition available.</p> <p>Look for cars to test drive both from dealers and from private party sellers on Craigslist. You can often find better deals buying directly from sellers on Craigslist. Don't test drive cars that are outside of your budget &mdash; you could end up falling in love with an expensive car and paying too much.</p> <p>Driving several cars of the same model will allow you to make a good comparison of condition and how well the car rides and handles. During my most recent test drives, I was surprised to find that the car that handled best and that was in the best condition was two years older and had more miles than the other cars I drove.</p> <p>You can't tell much about the condition of a car by its age and how many miles are on it. The type of driving (city vs. highway) and how the car was maintained have a big impact on the condition of older used cars. You need to test drive a car and check it out in person to know whether it is in good condition or not.</p> <p>You may be disappointed with all of the test drives. This can be a sign that the model you targeted is not right for you. Another problem can be that there are not very many of your target model for sale in your area. Go back to Step Two and choose something different if you don't find a car that you want after going on some test drives..</p> <h2>4. Used Vehicle Inspection From a Mechanic</h2> <p>You can learn a lot about a vehicle from a test drive, but there are lots of problems that could escape your notice. For about $50, you can have a mechanic at a car shop do a used vehicle inspection. This is useful to help you avoid buying a car with major problems. It is also useful to have the inspection results when negotiating the price.</p> <p>Even if a used car is in great shape, the used vehicle inspection will usually turn up a list of routine maintenance items and concerns along with a price estimate for repairs. This is a powerful bargaining tool to be used along with book price in negotiating the best deal.</p> <h2>5. Negotiate the Best Price</h2> <p>Unlike most other items for sale, vehicle prices are typically negotiated.</p> <p>The last used car that I bought was in great shape, yet it was offered right at the minimum of the book price range. It appeared there was not much room to negotiate on price. I decided to acknowledge that the asking price was reasonable, but pulled out my used vehicle inspection report and started going over all the work that this car needed and the price estimates for this work. I used the vehicle inspection report to move the price down $500 below book price. I ended up paying $4,300 for my car and came in $700 under budget.</p> <p>When you find a car that you really want, it can be tempting to pay the full asking price. My advice is to resist this urge and make an offer below asking price. The seller probably wants to sell the car as badly &mdash; or even more &mdash; than you want to buy it. The worst that can happen if you make an offer is that the seller will say no, and then you can offer more, and still end up with the car. You are likely to save hundreds of dollars by negotiating the price.</p> <p>I like to use evidence when bargaining on a price instead of simply asking for a lower price. I show the seller book prices or a list of repairs that are needed to substantiate my offer. Sellers are more likely to accept the lower price if they think it is rational and that other buyers would likely come to the same conclusion.</p> <p>Sometimes you can end up bargaining with an unreasonable seller who wants too much for their vehicle. This can be a problem especially when someone first starts selling a car and thinks they can get a great price for it. You might have to find a different seller or come back in a few weeks after the unreasonable seller has experienced the reality of trying to sell a used car for more than market price.</p> <p>Following these steps will help you find the best used car in your price range without getting ripped off. You might even be able to negotiate the price to less than your budget, leaving you with extra funds to handle any repairs or maintenance needs that pop up.</p> <p><em>Have you bought a used car? How'd you keep from getting ripped off?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">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/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</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/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</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/should-you-buy-your-leased-car">Should You Buy Your Leased Car?</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-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">6 Cars You Can Drive (Almost) Forever</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/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation avoid getting ripped off kelley blue book negotiating price comparisons test drive used cars vehicles Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1675260 at http://www.wisebread.com 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/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</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/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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 4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clipping_coupons_000046465166.jpg" alt="Stores letting you break common coupon rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Coupons are awesome tools for saving money when they work exactly as advertised. But what happens when the coupon burning a hole in your pocket turns out to be expired, chock full of exclusions, or beset with a quantity discount? Fortunately, if you know the couponing rules you can bend, you still have excellent opportunities to save money with coupons that many uninformed shoppers would deem worthless. Here is what you need to know to make it happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coupon Expiration Dates</h2> <p>There is nothing more frustrating than pulling out your coupon when checking out, only to notice it expired last week. But, depending on the store you're in, many will still happily accept that expired coupon. Also, just because your favorite store might not be mentioned here, always try to use the expired coupon &mdash; many stores will have a coupon behind the counter that you can use. After all, you have nothing to lose and a few bucks (or maybe much more) to gain.</p> <h3>Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h3> <p>Did you know that your 20% off any one item coupon at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond will often still work when expired? So don't throw them away when you find an old one buried in your desk drawer. Worst case scenario, the BBB employee will pull out a non-expired version of the same coupon from behind the counter and scan it for you.</p> <h3>Burger King</h3> <p>Most Burger King locations will still accept your expired coupon. As a matter of fact, because the unofficial policy is to take all coupons, many employees won't even glance at the expiration date when giving you your discount.</p> <h3>Buy Buy Baby</h3> <p>Don't throw away your expired Buy Buy Baby coupons, because they'll typically still accept them. Can't find a coupon? Just use your Bed Bath &amp; Beyond coupon, as they've been known to accept those, too.</p> <h3>Dick's Sporting Goods</h3> <p>I recently discovered that Dick's will often honor expired coupons. If they don't accept it, the cashier usually has a very similar non-expired coupon they can scan for you.</p> <h3>Kohl's</h3> <p>While Kohl's might not take an expired coupon <em>per se</em>, they will indeed take your expired Kohl's cash. So don't throw it away!</p> <h3>Petco</h3> <p>If you have an expired Petco branded coupon, be sure to not discard it. Petco stores will typically still take their own coupons &mdash; but not expired manufacturer coupons.</p> <h2>2. Quantity Limit Workaround</h2> <p>Many in-store grocery coupons come with a stingy quantity limit of a single item. This can really curb your savings if you're trying to stock up on something when the price is right. An obvious workaround is to politely ask the cashier to break up your purchase into separate transactions so you can use the coupon on each. However, some stores also limit the coupon to one use per visit &mdash; which would shoot that workaround in the foot.</p> <p>A better way to get around the quantity limit is to learn how to stack coupons to your advantage. This is when you use a store-issued coupon in conjunction with a manufacturer coupon, and in essence, double your savings. Then if you want to stock up and buy more than a single item, you can use the store-issued coupon on one item, and the manufacturer coupon on another. By doing it this way, you still get similar savings and avoid the dirty looks. Popular retailers that let you do this include Whole Foods, Publix, CVS, Safeway, Rite Aid, Target, and Walgreens.</p> <h2>3. Grace Period on Manufacturer Coupons</h2> <p>The couponing world has seen some pretty cool technological advances in recent years. For example, did you know that many manufacturer coupons now have data encrypted into them that can often extend their expiration dates via a grace period? So a coupon that has a printed expiration of 2/29 might not actually expire until 3/15, or later. The most obvious way to determine this &quot;grace period&quot; is to have the cashier scan them individually and see if they're accepted or rejected. To avoid holding up the line and wasting a bunch of your time, instead consider downloading an app like&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dustywallet.qseer">QSeer Coupon Reader</a> so you can scan the coupon at home and see if it has a grace period attached to it.</p> <h2>4. Coupon Exclusions and Restrictions</h2> <p>Have you ever tried to use a retailer's coupon only to discover the brand you're trying to purchase is excluded from the coupon? These coupon exclusions often come directly from the brand's headquarters, as they don't want to be considered a &quot;discount&quot; brand by consumers.</p> <p>The good news is that many retailers will often overlook certain brand exclusion and give you the coupon discount anyways, or offer another solution to help you score a deal. Stores where I have had the cashier give me the discount anyways includes Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Sports Authority, and Guitar Center. The key takeaway here is to try and use the coupon anyways. Many employees are trained to always keep the customer happy and will either give you the discount, or have a different coupon you can use to score similar savings.</p> <p><em>How you ever been able to bend the rules of couponing to your advantage?</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/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">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/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</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/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</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-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons discounts exclusions expired negotiating saving money Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:30:28 +0000 Kyle James 1661855 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000023883579.jpg" alt="Woman making money mistakes everyone makes with their first car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to make money mistakes anytime you buy a car &mdash; but your first car is especially risky. Here are some expensive first-time car buying mistakes and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. Buying the Wrong Kind of Car</h2> <p>When shopping for your first car, it's easy to overlook how you're going to actually use it in the long term. You might think about picking up friends to go out, but overlook routine chores such as hauling groceries home. Your car needs can change rapidly. You don't want a two-seater if your family could grow to three or more within a couple short years. The best way to save money on car expenses is to drive the same car for many years, so choose wisely!</p> <h2>2. Buying a Car With Poor Fuel Economy</h2> <p>If you are buying your first car, you probably aren't used to experiencing pain at the pump, and consequently you may not consider the cost of keeping gas in a pick-up truck. With the current low gas prices, you may not feel that fuel economy is a major consideration &mdash; but don't fall for this expensive mistake. If you choose a car that gets half the fuel economy, you'll pay twice as much for gas &mdash; no matter what happens to the price of gas. And just because gas prices are low today doesn't mean they'll stay low forever. If you buy a fuel hog and gas prices go up, it could seriously impact the resale value of your vehicle down the road.</p> <h2>3. Surprise Maintenance Required</h2> <p>Used cars are much less expensive to buy than new, and are a great choice for a first car. But sometimes a used vehicle can have expensive problems that are not obvious until after you have driven off in it. Never buy a vehicle with a check engine light on unless you understand what maintenance is required to resolve the issue. The problems indicated by a check engine light can cost only a few dollars to repair &mdash; such as replacing the gas cap &mdash; or thousands. The only way to know is to get the car checked out by a mechanic who can read the diagnostic codes, investigate the trouble, and provide an estimate for repairs.</p> <p>Even if the check engine light is not on, I recommend having any used vehicle checked over by a mechanic before you buy it. Getting a vehicle inspection can be a bit inconvenient and costs around $50, but you could save thousands by avoiding a car with expensive maintenance needs. You can also use the inspection report as a bargaining tool to get a better price. Do you really want to risk buying a used car without knowing what could be wrong with it?</p> <h2>4. Buying to Impress</h2> <p>Start your car search by thinking of the things you need a car to do. It needs to be reliable, get you to where you are going, and hold the things you need to haul. That's pretty much it. There are all kinds of options and upgrades available, but these do not change the basic functionality of a car.</p> <p>It is easy to think that a nice car will impress people and make your life better, but any reliable car provides the same basic utility. Try to approach buying a car as you would buying a tool, and don't let emotion overcome your judgment about what a car can do for you.</p> <h2>5. Thinking of a Vehicle as an Investment</h2> <p>Just because cars are expensive doesn't mean they are an investment. Almost any car you buy will drop significantly in value after only a few years. Dealers may encourage you to buy a more expensive car so it will have better resale value later. It is true that certain options such as automatic transmission and all-wheel drive improve resale value, but other options that add thousands of dollars to you car cost may bring only a few hundred dollars of resale value years later. Buying a car is an expense, not an investment. Try to minimize how much you need to spend to obtain safe, reliable transportation.</p> <h2>6. Not Negotiating on Price</h2> <p>Price negotiation can be a new concept for first-time car buyers. Car prices are not like prices for other items for sale &mdash; the sticker price is only a suggestion, and the seller is almost always ready to sell it for less. If you pay full asking price for a car, you are likely paying hundreds, or even thousands, more than you need to pay. With a few minutes of research on the Internet, you can arm yourself with the information you need to confidently negotiate a lower price. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/speed-past-car-debt-with-this-simple-timing-trick">Speed Past Car Debt With This Simple Timing Trick</a>)</p> <h2>7. Getting Tricked Into Dealer Financing</h2> <p>At the end of the car buying process, there is one more chance to make a costly mistake &mdash; dealer financing. The dealer may try to convince first-time car buyers that it will be difficult for them to get financing at all. After taking down some information and working some magic, they will appear with a financing offer and say that you were lucky to qualify. Just sign and the car is yours &mdash; along with its big monthly payments. The problem is that the interest rate from the dealer may be substantially higher than the rate you could get elsewhere. Avoid this trap by getting prequalified for financing at an online lender, credit union, or bank before you go car shopping. This way, you will know how much you can borrow and find a good interest rate before you fall in love with the car.</p> <p><em>What mistakes did you make when buying your first car?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">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/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</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/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low?</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/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</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/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car">6 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Buy a Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation financing fuel economy gas prices maintenance Mistakes negotiating new cars Tue, 02 Feb 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1647337 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Habits That Kill Your Buying Power http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_no_money_000064424505.jpg" alt="Woman breaking habits that kill her buying power" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the busy shopping season upon us, you're probably striving to get bigger and better deals. But there are some actions that actually hinder your buying power and cause you to overspend.</p> <p>Here are five things you may be guilty of doing that prevent you from getting the best deal available.</p> <h2>1. Lack of Comparison Research</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes is not shopping around or doing research before making a purchase. Too many of us believe that the price displayed is the lowest available, but this isn't always the case. Sometimes stores will slash prices due to overstocked inventory, or a local region will be doing a promotion not offered anywhere else. It pays to take the time to research and comparison shop before making your final purchase.</p> <h2>2. Not Knowing Your Credit Score</h2> <p>Not knowing your credit score can greatly reduce how much your credit card limit will be, or how much you can apply for when taking out a personal loan. Your credit score is the most important number that financial institutions consider. In addition, you could qualify for a lower interest rate (or be stuck with a higher one) depending on your credit score. This could save (or cost) you hundreds of dollars in interest fees and charges.</p> <h2>3. Rushing Into a Buy</h2> <p>Consumers tend to spend more money when they need something in a hurry. Needing to buy something at the last minute isn't always avoidable, but strive to take your time, really evaluate whether or not you <em>have</em> to purchase this item right now, and wait for at least 24 hours to ensure you can find the best deal possible. Also abide by this 24-hour rule before buying something &mdash; if you forget about it the next day, it wasn't really worth buying in the first place.</p> <h2>4. Not Asking the Right Questions</h2> <p>As consumers, we often forget how a simple question can save us a good chunk of change. Much like price matching, simply negotiating for a better price will usually pay off. Sometimes stores will still take expired coupons, a cash payment for less instead of a card, or the manager may alert you to a holiday promotion coming up. Just ask.</p> <h2>5. Missing Out on Cash Back</h2> <p>Between <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back credit cards</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">cash back websites</a>, there's no lack of opportunity for you to maximize your buying power by earning cash back on all your purchases. These simply allow you to get money back for doing the shopping you were already planning on doing. It's one extra step (going to the cash back site to go to the shopping site, or using the right credit card to make the purchase), but considering the savings, it's always worth it. With the right credit card, you can get up to 6% <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">cash back on everyday purchases</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What's another way you increase your buying power to ensure the best deal? </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/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power">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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</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/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</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-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</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/12-surprising-things-you-didnt-know-you-should-be-negotiating">12 Surprising Things You Didn&#039;t Know You Should Be Negotiating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying power cash back deals negotiating price comparison Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:00:30 +0000 Carrie Smith 1616760 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_home_depot_000016789311.jpg" alt="Learning surprising ways to maximize savings at home depot" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no arguing the fact that Home Depot can be a great place to save money on hardware and building supplies. And having worked at Home Depot fairly recently, I have the inside scoop on how to best take advantage of the savings opportunities. Here are a few tips to maximize your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ikea-shopping-tricks">8 IKEA Shopping Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't Ignore the Cents in the Price</h2> <p>I recently had a former Home Depot employee, who used to perform all of the price changes in his store, inform me of how their pricing system works. Use this information to determine what items are clearance price, and if they might go even cheaper.</p> <h3>Price Ending in .06</h3> <p>If you see an item with an ending price of .06, you know it's a clearance item. These price stickers will typically be printed on a yellow tag. The &quot;6&quot; means that after six weeks, if the item has not sold-out, the price will be lowered again. Look for a date printed on the price tag, as that indicates the date the tag was printed. If the date is close to six weeks ago, you know the item is about to get marked down again. If they still have plenty in stock, it's worth waiting in order to get it cheaper in the near future.</p> <h3>Price Ending in .03</h3> <p>Any price ending in .03 is a clearance item that has been marked down from .06. This means that after three weeks, the item will be removed from the store if not sold-out. Typically, when you see an item ending in .03, printed on a yellow tag, it's the rock-bottom price and your best opportunity for a deal. Again, examine the date on the price tag to determine how close the item is to being liquidated.</p> <h2>2. Negotiate the Price on Damaged Stuff</h2> <p>The Home Depot is notorious for slashing the price on any visible imperfections or damage on either the product's packaging, or the item itself. When I worked in the warehouse, we were actually given the authority to knock 15% off the price on damaged products without any managerial approval required. Use this insider information to your advantage, and look for items that have cosmetic damage. Then, ask an associate if a discount is available.</p> <p>Your chances of success increase greatly if you're polite and ask in a conversational tone. Also, if the item is the last one on the shelf, and shows even the slightest evidence of damage or wear, your success rate will increase substantially as employees want to clear it out of the store, since they know they'll have trouble selling it at full price. As a general rule of thumb, I like to start by asking for a 25% discount, knowing that I will probably settle for 15% off.</p> <h2>3. Score a Deal on Products Wrongly Stocked</h2> <p>This tip is not for everyone, but I saw it work several times during my employment at Home Depot. The average store stocks thousands of products, and every once in a while, a product is put back in the wrong spot or simply mis-stocked by the overnight crew. If you notice that a product is incorrectly stocked, and has a lower shelf price tag then it should, you can politely ask for the lower price.</p> <p>According to Consumer Reports, the store does not have to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/shopping/december-2009/the-savvy-shopper/know-your-consumer-rights/the-savvy-shopper-consumer-rights.htm">honor the lower price</a>, but in many cases, Home Depot will give you the lower price if the price difference is not outrageous. I saw this work for a customer that found a $25 Purdy paint brush stocked with the $5 cheap brushes. The assistant manager immediately gave him the $20 discount rather than argue with the man and create a scene.</p> <h2>4. Buy &quot;Oops&quot; Paint for Cheap</h2> <p>The next time you need to paint a room, or even an entire house, always check the &quot;oops&quot; paint rack in the Home Depot paint department. You'll find it next to the paint mixing station and it's where they sell highly discounted paint that was either mistinted by the paint machine, or simply not the color the customer requested. Having worked in the paint department in my younger days, I can tell you that you'll find some amazing hidden gems. This is especially true if you're not picky about paint color and simply looking for something neutral. Examples include one-gallon cans of Behr paint for $5&ndash;$8, and five-gallon buckets of paint, which typically sell for $125, can often be had for under $50.</p> <p>A word of caution: Always ask to see the actual paint color, and never trust the color swatch on top of the can. To foil customers trying to scam the system by intentionally rejecting a color so they can come back and buy it from the &quot;oops&quot; rack, employees will sometimes add bright colors to the cans and change the color intentionally. Make sure the color you think you're getting is the actual color.</p> <h2>5. Buy Paint on a Holiday Weekend</h2> <p>Sticking with the paint theme, another insider tip I learned while working in the paint department involves the rare days of the year when paint actually goes on sale. The best days of the year to buy paint are on holiday weekends when the weather is warm. These include Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend. The discount is usually a $5 rebate on one-gallon cans and a $25 rebate on five-gallon buckets. These holiday sales are typically good for both major brands of paint (Behr and Glidden) that Home Depot stocks. So, if you're thinking of doing a large painting project in the near future, it may very well be worth the money to wait, and buy, on one of these sale weekends.</p> <h2>6. Buy a Gift Card for Less Than Face Value</h2> <p>If you have a large remodel or DIY project in your future plans, you should definitely consider buying a discounted Home Depot gift card and easily save 7%&ndash;10% off your purchases. This is done by taking advantage of websites like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.giftcardgranny.com/store/home-depot/">Gift Card Granny</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.raise.com/buy-home-depot-gift-cards">Raise</a>, which sell unwanted gift cards at less than face value. Typically, the higher the gift card balance, the larger the discount. For example, right now you can buy a $100 Home Depot gift card on Gift Card Granny for $90 with free delivery.</p> <p>By knowing some of the inner-workings of Home Depot, you can definitely learn to save money &mdash; money that can easily be used to make your next DIY or home remodel project a little more affordable. Whether it's knowing how they price clearance items, or how willing they might be to negotiate the price of an item, it's all information you can use to become a smarter consumer.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize your savings when shopping at Home Depot?</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/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">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-5"> <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/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</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-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</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-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</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/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping discounts gift cards Home Depot home improvement negotiating price tags sales Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:15:50 +0000 Kyle James 1593639 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Everyday Situations That Introverts Ace http://www.wisebread.com/7-everyday-situations-that-introverts-ace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-everyday-situations-that-introverts-ace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_hugging_000021211937_2.jpg" alt="Women in everyday situation that all introverts ace" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a lot of introvert pride around the Internet these days. As an introvert myself, I've appreciated how articles on introversion have articulated some of the things about me that I find hard to explain to other people &mdash; like the fact that I like to observe (I'm not being rude), and the fact that I can be an introvert and not be shy.</p> <p>The thing is, though, that it's still sometimes hard for people in our extroverted culture to understand things an introvert might be <em>good</em> at. Employers still aren't sure how introverts add to their company, and extroverts don't know what to make of their friend who doesn't mind if a party gets cancelled.</p> <p>While it's true that introverts can vary widely in their skills, there are a few situations where most introverts will succeed, simply because they are introverted.</p> <h2>1. Intimate Dinners</h2> <p>Introverts are happiest socializing with a smaller group of people (or with a single person), and they place a high value on <a href="http://patricia-weber.com/introverts-intimacy-busting-myths/">emotional intimacy</a>. When you put these together, it's easy to see how an introvert would excel at an intimate dinner. Whether the dinner is romantic or for just a few friends, the introvert will be able to draw those present, including themselves, together.</p> <p>In fact, introverts are often known for their close friendships and for being good romantic partners. Emotional intimacy can be hard to come by, but introverts build it because it's what they value. It's part of what makes their world go 'round.</p> <h2>2. Family Gatherings</h2> <p>For similar reasons, introverts tend to ace family gatherings. Usually, they are comfortable with their family members (or, at least, they know them well and know how they will respond). Add that to their high value on emotional intimacy, and you can see why the introvert is often just the person to pull a family together. This can be especially true for a family facing hard times, because an introvert often has the skills necessary to help people share their feelings and listen to one another.</p> <h2>3. Confronting a Friend</h2> <p>Introverts are <a href="http://gulfnews.com/life-style/general/the-secret-power-of-introverts-1.1038171">good listeners</a>, which often makes them just the person to confront someone about an issue. This sounds counterintuitive at first, but makes more sense when you think about it. Often, people who need to be confronted are behaving the way they are for a reason, and someone skilled at listening can understand that reason and help come up with a plan that will satisfy everyone.</p> <p>Note that most introverts will have to overcome a deep aversion to confrontation before they can actually use this skill. Because introverts seek out situations that are less stimulating, and confrontation is often very stimulating, an introvert will need to learn how to tolerate this before they can use this gift.</p> <h2>4. Giving Advice</h2> <p>Introverts are natural observers. They watch the world around them carefully. While this can cause them to come across as aloof or shy, it actually means that they usually understand what is going on very well. They see patterns, they understand how the world works, and they step into life from that position.</p> <p>Because introverts understand their environment, they are often skilled at helping others navigate it, too. They can explain what they see, advising others who want to get through a particular situation or life in general better. And they often aren't forceful about the advice they give, leaving the receiver able to make his or her own choice once they've received more data.</p> <h2>5. Deep Conversations</h2> <p>Many introverts hate small talk. It feels flat, false, and boring to them. While this can make them seem socially awkward, many become skilled at turning small talk into deeper conversation. They naturally ask questions that take things deeper, and they aren't afraid of those waters.</p> <p>If you need someone to take a conversation deeper, ask an introvert. If you want to have a deep conversation but you aren't sure how to get there or how to share what you feel like you want to share, find an introverted friend. They can help you dive into what you are thinking and feeling, without making you feel like someone has invaded your soul. And they thrive on this kind of thing, so you don't have to worry about unloading on them, either.</p> <h2>6. Negotiations</h2> <p>Several years ago, Susan Cain's book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307352153/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307352153&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3RO22OKAUMXYI3OQ">Quiet</a> started the introvert's revolution. One of the first stories Cain tells is about herself as a young lawyer. She was sent into an important negotiation and felt like she just couldn't do it &mdash; she wasn't loud enough, wasn't forceful enough, and heard both sides too well. As it turned out, these were all strengths, and Cain became known for her negotiation skills.</p> <p>We tend to think that good negotiators intimidate the people on the other side of the table. However, coming up with a solution that is amenable to everyone takes listening, observing how people respond to certain suggestions, asking questions that probe, and even building some intimacy between the parties. These are all skills that introverts have, so it's no wonder that most introverts are actually very good at negotiation.</p> <h2>7. Preparing for Anything</h2> <p>Because introverts observe before they act, they are usually very good at preparing for whatever is coming. Whether they are looking at writing a report, making a presentation, getting married, or surviving the zombie apocalypse, introverts are good at getting things ready before an event happens, because they have observed patterns in the past and they understand what is coming.</p> <p>If you have something coming up that is making you nervous, try asking an introverted friend or coworker for help. Even if the project isn't something they can dive into themselves, they can often steer you in the right direction so that you think of what might come and get ready for it.</p> <p>Being an introvert can make life more difficult in our culture, but it can also make it better. When introverts and extroverts work together, each valuing the other, things often get done in a manner that is more satisfying to everyone involved.</p> <p><em>Do you identify as an introvert? What situations do you ace because of your introversion?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-everyday-situations-that-introverts-ace">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-12-best-weekend-activities-for-introverts">The 12 Best Weekend Activities for Introverts</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-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge">10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge</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/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">Make Friends and Be Happy: Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</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-reasons-introverts-make-the-best-employees">6 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Employees</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-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development friendship intimacy introverts negotiating personality types quiet people shy Mon, 19 Oct 2015 11:15:15 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1593210 at http://www.wisebread.com