Posts filed under ‘haggling’

Buying a New Car in the Morning?

The last time I bought a new car the year was 1999. All of our current cars were built over a decade ago and it feels strange to think we might buy something new, rather than buying unwanted cars from old family members and friends. That’s the way we received our last three vehicles.

Rather than taking the old fashioned route of going into a dealership and haggling I found the lowest price all from the comfort of my living room. I emailed the four main Toyota dealerships in our area and priced the exact same make and model with the majority of features I wanted.

I have a feeling we’ll try to haggle a little bit when we arrive tomorrow, (there are still a few kinks to work out), but I hope we’ll be driving a new car by the end of the day. Wish me luck. I hate the very idea of walking into a car dealership.

I did not have a good experience when I bought my car back in 1999. The salesman told me I would receive floor mats then tricked me into signing paperwork that said I shouldn’t receive any additional options. The original salesman told me it was included in the base price. I later learned that he was lying.

I walked out of the dealership with those floor mats but I almost cried to get them. I had never spent so much money on one thing in my life and I couldn’t believe the dealership was trying to cheat me out of an extra $200.

Let’s hope tomorrow goes better! It’s time to pass my car onto my husband, (it gets much better mileage than his current vehicle), and this new one will be roomy enough to carry something other than my son’s stroller in the trunk.

May 10, 2013 at 10:42 PM Leave a comment

Would You Haggle For Better Prices at a Department Store?

As I mentioned in my last post I am trying my best to overcome shyness. I’ve recently stepped out of my comfort zone by asking for better deals from various service providers. So far, I’ve been extremely successful. In fact, I’ve secured discounts, cash back, or some other benefit eight out of the nine times I’ve asked.

After telling my in-laws about my recent haggling success, my mother-in-law directed me to a segment called Haggling, Not Just for Flea Markets that ran Thursday morning on Good Morning America. In the segment an undercover reporter attempts to haggle for reduced prices on full priced retail items at Macy’s, JCPenney’s and Home Depot. With a good deal of persistence and very little fear the reporter ultimately received discounted prices at all three stores.

After watching the segment I read through the 70+ comments posted on the article. Apparently quite a few viewers were disturbed by the reporters tactics and many thought her actions constituted begging.

Personally, the sales large department stores like Macy’s and JCPenney’s run drive me batty. One day an item is 40% off. The next day the item is back up to full price. If I go to the store on a specific day and use my Macy’s card I can save 20% off. The very next day the item is full price again. I’ve had this happen on so many occasions that for a time I swore off large department stores.

Although I would certainly not speak with three or four employees and managers to get a better deal, I see nothing wrong with asking the clerk if he/she might have additional coupons behind the counter. Every once in awhile I leave my coupons on the kitchen counter when I head out to the store. On those occasions, when I get to the front of the line and realize my error I’ll ask the clerk where I might be able to find a coupon. Now, I am a rather organized person, so those times are few and far between, but I certainly don’t see the harm in asking.

What do you think? Could you haggle for better prices at department stores? Do you think the actions of the Good Morning America reporter constitute indecency and begging?

August 3, 2008 at 4:45 AM 3 comments

Haggling for a Cheaper Health Club Membership

On Thursday my husband visited a health club close to his office with the full intention of becoming a member. The sales manager initially offered him a $39 monthly fee for twelve months with a $59 initiation fee. When my husband suggested a shorter contract term the manager offered $39 a month for six months with a $99 initiation fee. My husband knew he could do better than that, so he told the manager he’d have to talk it over with his wife. I was proud that he walked out and surprised that the manager didn’t try harder to get him to sign a contract.

I called the health club on my husband’s behalf the very next day. I started by asking about the monthly fees. The sales manager quoted the same fee of $39 a month. I asked if he could budge on this price and he said definitely not. So I asked about the initiation fee. He quoted the same initiation fees: $59 for twelve months or $99 for six. I told him that we would not be willing to pay that much. The manager immediately agreed to lower the initiation fee to $19 if my husband signed the contract by 5 o’clock that afternoon. He said the $19 initiation fee was presented at the health club’s monthly open house. The manager went on to say that he would claim that my husband attended that event in order to get him the discounted rate.

In a matter of minutes the manager dropped $40 from his initial offer. That seemed rather easy so I asked if my husband could join for a six month membership instead of twelve. The manager said that couldn’t be done. He went on to say that my husband would have to pay a $50 early termination fee if he chose to leave the health club after six months. I asked if there was any way the manager could budge on this and he said no. I thanked the manager and quickly called my husband.

When I talked with my husband he said that four of his coworkers had joined the gym without paying any initiation fees. He also said he was unwilling to join for a twelve month period, so I called the manager back and said my husband would not be interested in joining. I asked if the fee could be waived in it’s entirety as it had been for his coworkers and he said that was not possible and that they must have been mistaken. (Seems odd that all of his coworkers would be mistaken.) The manager did agree to a $19 initiation fee on a six month contract with no early termination fee. I also asked if my husband’s guest charge of $15 for the previous day could be subtracted from the initiation fee. The manager said he couldn’t do that but he would subtract the charge from the first month’s fees.

I called my husband back to give him the good news, but my husband was immediately turned off by what I told him. He didn’t like the way the sales managers had treated us. (He hates being yanked around by commission based sales people.) Late Friday afternoon he decided he would not join the gym despite my haggling. Unfortunately, the pricing games the managers played convinced my husband to take his business elsewhere.

When I called my husband later that evening I could hear a lot of noise in the background. When I asked where he was he told me he was at the University gym on campus. For only $3 more a month and no initiation fee he joined a much larger gym with state of the art equipment, and no early termination fees. (The gym works on a semester schedule, so he could stop attending after four months, if he decides he’s no longer interested.)

My husband was afraid I might be angry at him for choosing not to sign the contract despite my haggling. I told him I am much happier with his choice to join the University gym. I might even join the gym with him.

July 27, 2008 at 3:59 AM Leave a comment


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