12 Times You Should Always Haggle for a Better Price
Haggling can get you a great deal on some items you may have paid full price for. Just remember to be polite—the worst that can happen is they’ll say no.
Buying a new home is probably the biggest purchase you will make over the course of your life, so every last penny you can save is worth it. “Borrowers should shop their business around to many banks/lenders to see what rates are available,” says Ade Labinjo, mortgage broker and co-founder of Burrowly. “Then use the rates obtained to pit the banks against each other for the purpose of either matching or driving down the rates they were quoted.” Labinjo says that by getting at least one extra quote rate, the average borrower could save up to $1,500. Never settle for the initial quote rate that the bank offers you—haggle for a better price because chances are, they’re not giving you their absolute best offer upfront. To ensure that you save even more money, these are things you should never pay full price for.
In order to haggle down the price of your medical bills, you need to have a good understanding of insurance claims and various hospital codes. “All medical bills contain approximately 30-40 percent errors,” says Gail Trauco, R.N. and CEO/founder of Medical Bill 911 responses. If something seems off to you on your bill, call and ask about it.
If your medical bill is correct, ask the hospital if they can give you a “pay now discount” if you’re able to pay the bill in full; if not, ask if they can set you up with a payment plan. “Pay now” discounts can reduce your bill by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, says Trauco.
“If you cannot pay your bill, ask the hospital billing department for a payment plan. This can be spread over several years and be as little as $5.00 per month,” says Trauco. “Hospitals prefer to have someone who is willing to pay a little over time instead of paying nothing at all.”
Flea markets, farmers markets, garage sales
At flea markets, farmers markets, and garage sales the sellers typically set their own price. If you know how to haggle, this is a great opportunity to get a really good deal. Also, see if buying in bulk or large quantities can get you a price reduction. Watch out for these hidden fees you had no idea you were paying.
Hotels want their rooms filled, so it never hurts to haggle with the people at the front desk for a better price or room upgrades. “Hotels have to pay a commission to booking websites, and pass on some of that as a benefit to the user,” says Saurabh Jindal, founder of Talk Travel. If you find that the price is the same on the booking website and the hotel’s website, ask the hotel for a room with a better view or more amenities. “Hotels have rooms allocated to various booking platforms and may give you a better option which has not yet been sold.”
Memberships always come along with extra fees. It might be a renewal fee, startup fee, or a maintenance fee if it’s your gym membership. Ask if they can waive some of the fees or threaten to cancel and go somewhere else. They want to keep making money off of you and might just give you a discount.
If you’re considering re-signing your lease, know that it is most likely more expensive for the landlord to prepare your apartment for a new tenant than to lease to you for another year. If you’ve had a good relationship with your landlord, try to negotiate in a deal before you re-sign. If the landlord is going to increase your rent, ask if you can increase it by less or not at all. If you consistently pay rent on time, are a respectful neighbor, and take good care of your apartment they may keep your rent from increasing.
It’s important to remember who your lease is with though, says Julie Ramhold, Consumer Expert at DealNews.com. If your apartment is owned by a management company, they probably won’t offer any wiggle room. But, if you’re renting from a single landlord or owner, try negotiating for a lower price. These insider secrets will help you save at all of your favorite stores.
Online selling platforms (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo)
People who post items for sale online are typically moving or looking to get rid of unwanted items. Use that to your advantage and ask for a lower price—the worst they can say is no. You could also offer to come and pick it up quickly if they give you a better deal.
Cable/Internet and cell phone bill
As annoying as your cable and phone provider may be, they don’t want to lose you as a customer. “If you’re signing up or looking to renew, sometimes you can get a lower rate by telling a rep what the competitor is offering and saying it works better with your budget,” says Ramhold. A lot of cable companies give you a promotional price for your first year, make sure to call right before the price goes up for your second year. The competitors will most likely offer better prices for new customers and that can work in your advantage and possibly get you a better deal with your current provider.
Just like cable companies, insurance companies don’t want you to switch to a different provider. “Use your customer loyalty to your advantage and try to talk to the right person on the phone,” says Kelan Kline a personal finance expert and co-founder of The Savvy Couple. “Tell them the service you are receiving is not good enough for the price.” They might offer you a discount to keep you.
If you’re remodeling your kitchen or getting some yard work done, make sure to shop around and get a few different quotes first. Use those quotes to negotiate with the contractor you want to work with. Also, you may be able to haggle for a better price if you offer to pay upfront in cash or schedule a contractor during the winter months when business is typically slower. Just make sure you never use cash to buy these 13 things.
“You should know that the markup on diamond jewelry is anywhere from 50 to 200 percent and more,” says Chhavi Agarwal, a personal finance expert at Mrs. Daaku Studio. There is always room for haggling. Agarwal suggests politely making a counteroffer. You’d be surprised the changes they are willing to make to the bill. If they refuse to come down in price, try to haggle the labor charges.
Never miss an opportunity to haggle for a better price on items that have been returned to stores. Stores will typically mark returned items that have been slightly used or have a ding with a price reduction, but it doesn’t hurt to ask for more off. They know that items that have already been opened aren’t as appealing to customers and they want to get them sold. To be more of a money expert, make sure you know about these savvy shopping tricks that will help you save.