The cost of everyday goods is more negotiable than you might think – and the savings can really add up.
Amid rampant inflation and prices soaring across the board, now is the perfect time to try your hand at haggling.
Whether it’s for everyday essentials such as household furniture or your broadband and phone bill, or big-ticket items such as a family car or even a home, speaking up has the potential to save you thousands of dollars.
The key to negotiation is good preparation and clear communication – so make sure you do your research before you try to haggle on a product.
Here Dailymail.com rounds up the best ways to haggle down prices including the costs you did not know you could grab a bargain on.
If you are able to score a cheaper mortgage rate – you could easily save yourself thousands of dollars over the years.
When looking for something complex and long-term like a mortgage, make sure not to accept the first offer and remember that there is still room for negotiation.
Lenders may be counting on you to choose the easiest route because you feel overwhelmed, behavioral researcher Samantha Lamas told the Wall Street Journal. But shopping around pays off.
According to research from Freddie Mac, borrowers who applied with two different lenders last year reduced their mortgage rate by an average of 20 basis points.
This means households could have saved as much as $600 a year during the high interest rates of October and November 2022.
Financial advisors recommend comparing three to five lenders including a credit union.
It’s important to be aware that mortgage inquiries can affect your credit score as lenders will make a hard credit check before they decide if they’ll approve you, which will affect your score.
But all mortgage credit inquiries within a 45-day window count as one inquiry, so if you shop within this period you can minimize how much your score falls, Rocket Mortgage’s Bill Banfield told the Wall Street Journal.
Once you’ve picked the two best offers, feel free to play the lenders off against each other to get the best deal.
Getting a bargain on a hotel room is one of the best ways to save money on a vacation.
Before you book a stay, be sure to call the hotel and speak to them directly to try to negotiate a better price rather than simply taking the first offer quoted online.
It is worth seeing whether they offer money off for AAA or AARP members, or if the hotel might be able to offer you complimentary or discounted breakfast or free parking.
A lesser-known hidden cost which is worth looking out for when you’re paying your bill at the end of your stay is so-called ‘resort fees.’
Sometimes referred to as amenity fees, destination fees, facility fees or resort charges, these were originally introduced to justify luxury amenities associated with a room such as a swimming pool, but are now often tacked onto rooms that aren’t resort-like in any way.
According to analysis of US hotels by personal finance website NerdWallet, the average resort fee was more than $42 per night – or about 11 percent of the room’s nightly cost.
If this fee wasn’t advertised when you booked the room, you can ask for it to be removed from your bill.
To get the best deal on a car, brokers say you have to be flexible about the model you wish to buy
Buying a car is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases a family will make – so it is worth negotiating at the dealership.
According to dealers and car brokers, it is important to be flexible about what kind of car you’re willing to buy, and not having your heart set on a particular color or model, in order to get the best deal.
Before you actually pay a visit to the dealership, do extensive research about vehicle prices online and come prepared with appropriate figures in mind.
Remember to always be polite to the salesperson. ‘One of the mistakes that people make is they show up to the dealership kind of with the boxing gloves on ready to go to battle,’ Tom McParland, who runs a consulting business where he assists customers buying cars, told the Wall Street Journal.
Cellphone and internet
The number one rule when it comes to haggling with your telecoms provider, is to pick up the phone. With just a few calls, you are likely to be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars in annual costs.
When you come to the end of your phone or WIFI contract, you are in a position to change providers – but you are also in a position to negotiate with your current provider.
Familiarize yourself with your plan, so you are not susceptible to being lured in to buying unnecessary features. If you notice there are any add-ons to your plan that you don’t need, make sure these are not included in your new plan. This can also help you make substantial savings.
Call your provider and say that you are thinking of switching. Say you want to pay as little as possible and ask what they can do for you.
The best deals are often not advertised online and are only available to people who ring up and ask.
Nearly half of adults who received a medical or dental bill that they thought contained an error successfully resolved the disputed bill with their medical care provider or insurer
Many people do not realize that you are able to haggle down your medical bills – but you can question medical bills and ask for cheaper prescriptions.
If you are offered a prescription that is too expensive, ask your doctor directly if there is a less costly alternative available.
When you receive a charge, ask for an itemized bill so you can easily spot if there are any mistakes or if you have been overcharged.
According to a 2022 healthcare debt survey from nonprofit the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of adults who received a medical or dental bill that they thought contained an error successfully resolved the disputed bill with their medical care provider or insurer.
According to a study by Consumer Reports, 60 percent of people who tried to haggle on their mattress were successful – and saved an average of $245 on the purchase.
The same can be said for furniture, such as beds and sofas.
Before you haggle, though, make sure you have in mind what you’re interested in, what you’re willing to pay, and what the going rate for certain items tends to be.
Shop around online, and be polite and flexible with the representative when you speak to a representative on the sales floor.
Health club memberships
Gym memberships can be some of the most expensive monthly spending, so it can help to negotiate the price.
Waiting to sign up until the end of the month can help. For example, if you sign up at the end of December, gyms are competing against each other to recruit as many new gym members as possible going into the new year, so you may end up getting a better deal.
Many health clubs offer a free trial for a month or a week before you commit, which is a good way to feel out if the gym is a right fit for you.
Even if a specific deal or sale, such as for a cheaper family membership, has passed, don’t be shy in asking if they can still offer you an expired deal. Or try asking if they can waive enrollment fees.
Often establishments can be convinced if they have monthly or yearly goals they need to meet.