Don't Pay Retail!
The Art of Asking
In my younger days, I cringed whenever I shopped with my mother. She did not like to pay the set price and believed that haggling was always worth a try. At the shoe store, she asked the salesperson to throw in shoe polish or a shoe horn. At the furniture and appliance stores, she asked the manager to hold the tax or provide free delivery. If all else failed, she would ask for free sofa pillows or any other item that caught her attention. When I moved into my first apartment, she helped me shop for furniture. She went directly to the sales manager and persuaded him to give me a discount, free delivery, six months of no-interest payments, and free sofa pillows.
The current economic tsunami has changed many of our attitudes about money. As a result, haggling is becoming an essential skill in today's economy. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, you can master the art of haggling. Consider the following tips:
Haggling should be fun. It's not a life or death event. The worst that happens is your offer is rejected and you walk away from the purchase. But, if you make haggling a game, you're much more likely to find a smiling dance partner on the other side of the negotiation.
For 31 years, Joanne Guidoccio taught mathematics, computer science, business and career education courses in secondary schools throughout Ontario. Her articles, book reviews, and short stories have been published in Canadian newspapers and online. She has bachelor's degrees in mathematics and education and a Career Development Practitioner diploma.
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