How to Haggle and Save on Anything

Consumer Reports gives tips on how to get discounts and deals on items for sale online.

(Published Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017)

We all love getting a good bargain. But you don’t necessarily need to wait for a sale or a coupon to nab a discount. Whether you are buying tires or tomatoes, Consumer Reports found there’s often wiggle room, to either lower the price or get more bang for your buck, But you may have to ask for it.

Many people are really uncomfortable bargaining a price in store because they think it’s rude, they think they’re being cheap, which is why Tercius Bufete of Consumer Reports recommends using the live chat feature on a retailer’s website. Not only does it help overcome the awkwardness, it may boost your odds of nabbing a bargain. Consumer Reports readers who haggled online reported greater success than those who did so face to face.

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(Published Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018)

Even major retailers like Amazon may be willing to work with you. Even though they officially do not offer price matching, Consumer Reports found their customer service team to be very accommodating in terms of adjusting the price or offering a credit. Because at the end of the day, they just want your business and they want you to keep buying things from them.

Not sure how to approach the topic? Start by showing the seller you are really interested in the item. Really engage the customer service representative and ask them questions. When you ask questions it really makes it look like you are ready to buy the product and that makes it more likely for the retailer to offer you a discount.

And even if the sales rep won’t lower the price, they may be able to sweeten the deal in other ways. There are other things of value you can ask for like free expedited shipping or a free extended warranty. In most cases, Consumer Reports doesn't recommend that you pay for one, but there's nothing wrong with getting one free. In a survey, Consumer Reports found that 57 percent of shoppers who negotiated for a free warranty or warranty extension at an independent retailer were successful.