Most people think haggling is for street fairs and yard sales. But according to CBS Money Watch, you can get a better deal on a lot of things if you just ask. Here are six things you should always negotiate a better price for . . .
#1.) Credit Card Rates. After the economy tanked in 2008, and the credit card reform bill went into effect in February of last year, it was a lot harder to get a good rate on a new credit card. --But in the third quarter of last year, 1.2 billion credit card offers were mailed out, which is three times the number sent out in the third quarter of 2009. --And since there's more competition now, credit card companies are more likely to give you a better rate, because they want your business. All you have to do is say you have another offer at a lower rate, and ask them to beat it. --According to a study done a few years ago by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, more than half of the people who ask for a lower rate get one. And their average APR drops from 16% to 10.5%.
#2.) Mortgage Rates. Mortgage lending is a lot harder than it used to be, so lenders are more willing to reduce certain fees, or even waive them completely. --So the best thing to do is compare the rates at a few different mortgage lenders, then ask each one to beat the best price you found. And you can spend less out-of-pocket money if you ask for discounts on all the fees they make you pay up front.
#3.) Home Improvements. According to the executive director of Consumer Reports, business is still slow for contractors, and they're willing to do more work for less money. --In a survey done last year, 80% of contractors said they were willing to lower their prices to get a job, compared to 43% in 2008. Of that 80%, half were willing to drop their prices by 10%, and almost one-quarter said they'd drop prices by 20%.
#4.) Major Appliances. According to a study by Consumer Reports, 75% of shoppers get a better deal if they negotiate the price on appliances, and the average savings is around $100 per appliance. --But don't go in the middle of the day when it's busy. If other customers can overhear you, the manager is less likely to offer a good deal because he'd have to offer it to everyone else who asked too. --And if they won't budge on the price, you can still negotiate a better deal by asking for free delivery.
#5.) Medical Tests and Procedures. The price varies depending on where you go. For example, a recent study revealed that having an MRI done on your knee in Washington D.C. costs between $400 and $1,500 depending on where you go. --And if you know what one hospital charges, you can use that to negotiate a better deal with another hospital. Sometimes, you can save 50%.
#6.) New Cars. Negotiating the price of a car isn't just acceptable, it's expected. And you can save over a thousand dollars on a new car if you do it right. --All you have to do is shop around and find the best deal you can, then ask dealerships to beat it. --And instead of negotiating down from the sticker price, ask what the INVOICE price is . . . which is the price the dealer paid for it . . . then negotiate UP. You can find the invoice price for most new cars at the website Edmunds.com.