The Lost Art of Bargaining

One way to get more for your money in these hard times is to simply remember how to bargain for it.
In an uncertain economy, it pays to shop smart. In fact, hardest part of negotiating is simply getting past the idea of paying the full sticker price. Keep in mind that in these hard times, people are increasingly willing to strike up a deal.
Just ask the sales clerk – 'Can we get a better price? ' It is especially good to do this if you think that it is not just a sales clerk you are talking to and that it is the owner you are talking to…
It also helps simply to look around for a deal. Do your price checks. Stores are often eager to match or beat the prices of their competitors, so check flyers, newspaper ads, internet auction and shopping sites (including eBay, Amazon and Yahoo) and bargain websites for comparisons. Print or cut out the information and take it on your shopping trip; sometimes if you can show you got a lower deal on the internet you do not have to pay as much.
Negotiating the price of a house or car seems obvious, but you do the same tactics to try and get deals department stores, travel centers, home contractors and cell phone providers. Haggling can work almost anywhere.
Try bargaining in person rather than over the telephone. To give yourself a lot of time to strike a deal, shop when a store is less busy and make sure that you are friendly, patient and polite.
You can also look out for damage on items. If you find a flaw on an item that you can live with or fix – such as a missing button on a jacket or a scratch on a table – ask for a better price.
Offering to pay cash in return for a discount doesn't mean you're helping someone skirt taxation; there's no need to put down $20 for dishware and make a run for the nearest border. Many retailers prefer cash payments because they pay a fee for credit- or debit-card transactions.
It is also a good idea to simply keep an eye out for sales. Ask when an item will be marked down and when new models are coming. They might be prepared to wait a bit and then give you a deal. I got a really great baby carriage that way.