Pharos-Tribune

Business

August 29, 2013

Consumer Reports: Bargaining can reap big bucks

Hate to haggle? You're not alone. Consumer Reports' recent national survey found that just 48 percent of shoppers tried bargaining for a better deal on everyday goods and services in the past three years, down from 61 percent in 2007.

But if you're chicken, you lose. Eighty-nine percent of those who haggled were rewarded at least once. Successful furniture hagglers saved $300 on average, as did those who questioned a health-related charge. Those who challenged their cellphone plans saved $80.

Savvy negotiators know that politeness, friendliness and a smile are harder to resist than tough talk. "A my-way-or-the-highway approach limits you, because if you then reduce your demands, you run the risk of losing face," says Steven Cohen, president of Massachusetts-based Negotiation Skills, which teaches corporate clients how to sharpen their bargaining techniques. "Negotiation isn't a competitive sport."

Consumer Reports suggests these other tips for smart bargaining:

Assume everything is fair game. Retailers drop prices all the time and call it a sale. "It's not in the seller's best interest to charge one price to all customers," says Stephen Hoch, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "You charge different prices to different people based on their willingness to pay. As long as you sell something for more than your cost, you are making a profit."

Don't be intimidated by a title. Hoch says that many people are reluctant to confront doctors or lawyers. But Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, says that almost everyone in health care — whether physicians, hospitals, labs or imaging departments — will eventually accept less if you dispute an out-of-pocket charge.

Be willing to bargain for big bucks. You can't win if you don't try. A 23-year-old college grad (he didn't want his name used) was accepted into several law schools and was offered generous scholarships by some. As his commitment deadline loomed, two of the schools increased their offers, but his first choice didn't. He approached the admissions officers of his top pick, told them that another school had upped the ante, and asked for more ($40,000 a year), knowing it would never agree to that amount. The school, which had initially offered $30,000, countered with $33,000, and they sealed the deal.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • BIZ-PT042014 Property Values.jpg Coming due: Logansport sees dramatic property tax increase Property owners around Cass County have been getting tax bills in the mail over the last week -- and some have found unexpected increases in their bills. As the May 12 deadline approaches to pay the first half of year 2013 property taxes, Cass County

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Logansport Curves up for sale Logansport's Curves franchise is up for sale, its manager says. Owner Angie Wisler and manager Audrey Eaker, Wisler's daughter, intend to simplify their lives by selling the Logansport franchise as well as their Delphi Curves franchise, Eaker said. T

    April 20, 2014

  • Business news in brief, April 20 O'Brien joins law firm New attorney Jacob O'Brien recently joined the law firm of Starr Austen and Miller as an associate attorney. O'Brien, a 2004 Logansport High School graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Indiana University Bloom

    April 20, 2014

  • COMMERCE TALK: Spring means activity at chamber Spring is here and we are busy with lots of events at the Chamber of Commerce. New this year, the chamber has partnered with the Cass County Resource Network to offer HYPE (Helping YOU Pursue Excellence) Together classes. These are free or minimal co

    April 20, 2014

  • Consumer Reports: Extended warranties an expensive gamble Looking for an easy way to save hundreds on your next new car and simplify the buying process at the same time? Skip the extended warranty, says Consumer Reports. The dealer will probably try hard to sell you one, telling horror stories about the th

    April 20, 2014

  • SMART MONEY: Charity receiving estate will handle probate DEAR BRUCE: I hope you can help us figure out what to do. I am 76 years old, and my husband is 78. We are thinking about getting a trust to avoid probate when we pass away. We have been to many seminars discussing this matter, and I still don't under

    April 20, 2014

  • BIZ-PT041314 SecFed3.jpg From the inside out: Rebranding transforming Security Federal The rope barriers are gone from Security Federal Savings Bank's downtown offices. Lettering on the floor replaced them, advising bank customers to wait a few feet back from the bank tellers' desks. Each teller's station is flanked by wood panels that

    April 13, 2014 5 Photos

  • Women's boutique open along Eel River A girls' and women's accessories boutique recently opened near the west entrance to the River Bluff Trail in Logansport. Glam Girl Boutique owner Megan Ramirez said she's focusing on selling inexpensive women's accessories and girls' accessories and

    April 13, 2014

  • BIZ-PT041314 Haley Jasmantas.jpg Business news in brief, April 13 Carroll chamber has Business After Hours FLORA -- The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce will have a Business After Hours event from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Industrial Park located on Ind. 75 just south of Ind. 18 in Flora. Visitors may to

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ON THE JOB: Keeping a work-life balance Being a working mom with a full-time career sometimes has me in a rut. I have to really focus on balancing work, life, family and, of course, "me" time. This task is a lot harder than I thought it would be when I first became a mom. One of my favorit

    April 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.