My frugal friend and author Stacy Johnson (I reviewed his book Life or Debt not long ago) shared his five tips for negotiating a lower price, a better room, a free upgrade, and lots more. In his post Stacy links to a Consumer Reports video about when bargaining works best. He also shares these stunning statistics from the CR survey:
“These results came from interviewing more than 2,000 men and women who had tried negotiating for at least three years,” he writes. “The numbers below reflect how many achieved a discount at least once during that three year period, along with the greatest discount any of them achieved.”
- Furniture: 94% of those who asked got a better deal at least once.
- Medical Bills: 93% of people who tried negotiating a lower bill were successful at least once.
- Home Electronics: 92% were successful at least once.
- Appliances: 92% were successful at least once.
- Floor Models/demos: 91% were successful at least once.
- Credit Card/Bank Fees: 87% were successful at least once.
- Jewelry: 86% were successful at least once.
- Cell Phone Plans: 80% were successful at least once.
- Collectibles: 78% were successful at least once.
Those are pretty amazing statistics! Of course, they neglect to say how many attempts were made before success. I am successful about 25-50 percent of the time I ask for a discount or perk. But I don’t ask every time, and it’s taken me a lot of practice to get good at playing the customer service game. Here are the negotiating tips I live by.