Negotiate Lower Prices on Just About Anything -- Savings Experiment

Negotiate Lower Prices on Just About Anything
Negotiate Lower Prices on Just About Anything

For many products and services, the price you see is the price you pay. Sometimes, though, the costs are actually more negotiable than you think. Here are a few instances where you can save some money just by knowing what to ask.

While gym memberships can be pricey, they're usually not fixed, which is why you should always negotiate your rates. Before you sign up, check online to find competitive prices at other comparable fitness clubs. Your gym will often offer to match those prices in order to get you onboard.

If they're not willing to budge on the rate, try getting the initiation fee waived. Sales associates often have leeway when it comes to this, and will commonly waive the fee in order to lock in a membership.

Your cable and cell phone rates are also adjustable. The best time to negotiate for lower prices is at the end of your contract, when companies know they'll have to work harder to keep you from switching providers.

Check sites like LowerMyBills.com and MyRatePlan.com to find out what promotion a carrier is offering new customers and ask if they'll give you the same deal if you renew. If that doesn't work, ask to speak with the cancellation department. These service agents are there to keep you from jumping ship, so they often have the most power to give you the best deals.

When it comes to electronics, you probably won't be able to talk down the price of the latest iPhone, but you can save up to 40 percent on anything from flat-screen TVs to surround-sound stereos, if you know how to negotiate.

Brick-and-mortar stores get a lot of competition from online retailers, so you'll have a better chance at making a deal in person. For example, Best Buy allows managers to adjust prices to close a sale. Even if they can't match a price, they can offer extras at no cost. Keep in mind, you'll have the most bargaining leverage at the end of the month when stores are desperate to hit their monthly sales targets.

So, when it comes to lowering bills or getting a great deal, polish up your negotiating skills. It's not only what you ask, but how you ask that can make all the difference.

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