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Haggling in stores

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
Today's New York Times has a front-page article entitled "Even at Megastores, Hagglers Find No Price Is Set In Stone." It seems shoppers are learning that in the current economy, you can bargain the prices even in regular retailers such as Home Depot and Best Buy.

In one example, a man persuaded the store to shave $1000 off two TV sets. An ex-Best Buy salesman is quoted as saying that as many as one-quarter of customers try to negotiate price. And several store spokespeople are quoted as saying salespeople and/or managers increasingly have discretion to make deals.

Another example - and relevant to this forum - cites a man who got a pair of pants, already on clearance, dropped from $75 to $50 at Polo Ralph Lauren in Soho. He did this by claiming to have seen the same pants online for $65 and saying the pair in the store looked worn (which he concedes was a lie).

I've never tried this myself - yet! - but I'm interested in others' experiences, particularly in higher-end clothing stores. Have you haggled in a retail store? How did it work out?
post #2 of 91
I've haggled over clearance items and last-of-its-kind stock, when I know the store staff has some leeway over pricing. But I've never tried to negotiate on a first-quality item at full price at a large chain store.
post #3 of 91
I've never haggled at a place where there is typically no haggling. Take that camera in the article, for instance--why haggle to get a price down from $400 to the internet price of $350 when you can just buy it haggle-free on the web for $350? Some people are more averse to buying on the web, and for them I guess it's good, but I'd rather just buy online than haggle in person to uncertain results.
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TintinATL View Post
I've never tried this myself - yet! - but I'm interested in others' experiences, particularly in higher-end clothing stores. Have you haggled in a retail store? How did it work out?

I remember working in retail in high school. I worked at a footlocker type store that didn't allow the salespeople to change prices at all. Another summer, I worked at a k-mart type discount department store that gave employees the discretion to take up to 15% off the price tag, but even then, it was buried somewhere in the employee training manual, and 99% of salespeople don't know about it.

I tried haggling for a pair of Pal Zileri shoes that were on clearance when I was overseas. I got nowhere, but I'm not experienced with this type of stuff and I'm sure they could tell.

Maybe it's just me, but if I'm asking for a discount, I figure I better have a really good reason, like it's lightly used, or I'm buying a tons of stuff, or something like that. I'd feel like kind of an idiot just asking for 15% of a brand new Canali sportcoat that just came into stock for no other reason, other than I think I deserve a discount.

It just seems to me that you're more likely to get an unusual discount if it's an unusual transaction.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
Maybe it's just me, but if I'm asking for a discount, I figure I better have a really good reason, like it's lightly used, or I'm buying a tons of stuff, or something like that. I'd feel like kind of an idiot just asking for 15% of a brand new Canali sportcoat that just came into stock for no other reason, other than I think I deserve a discount.

I agree. If I don't like their prices, I can shop elsewhere (and I do).

Asking for 15% off a brand new Canali sportcoat is different than the cameras and TVs in the article. For one, TVs and cameras are items which tend to be the subject of price-matching, for stores that have a price-match policy. Two, they are highly competitive items where stores compete amongst one another, since so many retailers sell them. Three, you and I can easily price-compare on the internet. And four, prices on those items fluctuate very frequently, often from week to week. On a Canali sportcoat, that price is pretty much set in stone and is the same at every store until a big sale.
post #6 of 91
I'll haggle if: (1) there's something wrong with the item, or (2) the store is a place that customariliy negotiates prices. If either of those two conditions are true, I think it would stupid not to haggle.
post #7 of 91
I do this occasionally depending on what I'm buying, and only at independent stores. Some common lines:

- "I really like this, but it's a tad out of my budget..."
- "If I buy a whole set from you, would you be able to give a small discount?"
- "Would you be able to give a bit of a discount if I pay in cash?"

If I can at least get the sales tax covered, than I'm pretty happy.
post #8 of 91
For multiple purchases adding up to a lot I'll always ask for a discount if paying cash.
post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TintinATL View Post
Another example - and relevant to this forum - cites a man who got a pair of pants, already on clearance, dropped from $75 to $50 at Polo Ralph Lauren in Soho. He did this by claiming to have seen the same pants online for $65 and saying the pair in the store looked worn (which he concedes was a lie).

Lying to save $25, what a class act.
post #10 of 91
I've tried haggling a shirt at a Banana Republic store. It was off 20% because it had stains on it. I said that it was a lot cheaper on sale online without the stains (of course I lied about that). The attendant went to check with her manager. In the end, it was no go. Their lost. About 2 months later, I still see the same stained shirt on the rack.
post #11 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by needshoehelp View Post
I agree. If I don't like their prices, I can shop elsewhere (and I do).

Asking for 15% off a brand new Canali sportcoat is different than the cameras and TVs in the article. For one, TVs and cameras are items which tend to be the subject of price-matching, for stores that have a price-match policy. Two, they are highly competitive items where stores compete amongst one another, since so many retailers sell them. Three, you and I can easily price-compare on the internet. And four, prices on those items fluctuate very frequently, often from week to week. On a Canali sportcoat, that price is pretty much set in stone and is the same at every store until a big sale.
Same here.
post #12 of 91
I think at most clothing stores they will probably tell you to get the hell out because if you do not buy it someone else probably will. If you do not buy and no one else does, then you can just get it on sale where it will probably be cheaper for you anyways.
post #13 of 91
I always haggle at independant stores. I'll try it at major stores if I see even the most minor defect, or am spending several hundred dollars or more. OR if the item I want isn't available (in my size) but a more expensive version is. Managers ALWAYS have discretion, sometimes salespeople do too. Especially when they're paid on commission.

I almost always have success. The trick is knowing when to try. When do they have discretion, and when do they actually want to make a sale. But I have to be willing to walk away if they say no.
post #14 of 91
As the economy weakens these tactics will be easier to apply. Stores will have to do what it takes to get rid of inventory. I found that to be true now, stores I frequent often the sales person on a few occasions have given me their employee discount even on sales items.
post #15 of 91
It never hurts to ask. All they can say is no. Remember, you have to be willing to walk away. It does become difficult, however, if you have your heart set on a particular item.

Anyone try to bargain on Savile Row?
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