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Haggling in stores

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TintinATL, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. TintinATL

    TintinATL Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. needshoehelp

    needshoehelp Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. needshoehelp

    needshoehelp Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. robin

    robin Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. billiebob

    billiebob Well-Known Member

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    For multiple purchases adding up to a lot I'll always ask for a discount if paying cash.
     
  9. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Mr. Potato

    Mr. Potato Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. ghulkhan

    ghulkhan Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. mt_spiffy

    mt_spiffy Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  14. satorstyle

    satorstyle Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  15. jtsouth

    jtsouth Active Member

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    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?
     
  16. tiecollector

    tiecollector Well-Known Member

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    I have only ever tried haggling at Macy*s since once they gave me 15% off when they saw something wrong with a garment. I usually don't bother unless something is actually wrong with it though.
     
  17. BYucko

    BYucko Well-Known Member

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    I work once a week in a shoe store which sells brands like Clarks, Florsheim, Mephisto, etc.

    I see hagglers every time I work. I personally think it tarnishes your image if you really try haggling. It makes the person look cheap.

    A lot of good people don't mind paying the extra premium for good customer service.
     
  18. Joffrey

    Joffrey Well-Known Member

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    I hate haggling. My mother is a beast at it though. I've always felt haggling was okay for open markets not stores.
     
  19. StylenotFashion

    StylenotFashion Well-Known Member

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    As for 25 years, I was an agent for several of the prized Italian tailored clothing brands often mentioned as well as a manufacturer of private label for the creme de la creme of retailors in the US both corporate chains (ie: Neimans, Saks, Barneys, etc) and independents (Louis, Bergdorfs, Korshak, Wilkes, etc). While they complain of high overheads the customary mark-ups range from 2.5 - 3.0 ie what that means is they buy for $1.00 and will initially sell for anywhere from $2.50 - $3.00. Now they all have more rational and justification than you could possibly imagine about the cost of doing business.

    But these are the branded items! Private label???????? Buyer be aware, and be educated!
     
  20. parisvegas

    parisvegas Member

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    i made my whole living off haggling [​IMG] its exciting to me.. getting a deal.. using your wits to convince someone to lower there price... thrill of the chase.. craigslist? oh my.. being the one with the green.. and being able to walk.. no emotions.. as for stores like saks or neimans.. yea.. they have prices that they can lower down too.. its the sells guy who takes the commission hit.. if hes having a bad day or needs sells.. but also.. if he is qualified he will show no emotion and let you walk.. esp if he believes in his product.. but.. there is nothing in saks or neimans that i would even buy at 50% off.. a kiton suit for 5400$ guy sells to me for 50% off.. does me no good.. i cant resell it and make $$

    i will go into off-saks and haggle there.. 2 years ago they had a over stock of salvatore ferragamo ties.. priced at 49.99 i think.. they were all the unique ones.. with ducks and rabbits all that other fancy stuff.. i asked the floor guy how many they had.. he said they had about 400-500 total.. i talked to the manager.. told him i would take them all for $25 each.. ended up being 400 ties.. 10k people start to think.. he goes in back.. few min later says yes.. we did a sale that was going to go on off a 50% off card he found.. then he goes.. wanna open a saks account and save 10%? i was like.. 1k for a credit hit.. sure.. i moved them all on ebay.. donno if u guys remember that.. i avg like $44 a tie before commissions.. took me a month to move them all.. and.. i never fronted a dollar.. saks loaned me the money on there card, that was the 10% deal.. and it was paid off in full when the bill arrived..

    some people are just to proud to ask.. some arent..

    on the flip side.. i also own a franchise business.. a haagen-dazs.. 2 of them in fact.. we dont haggle.. because i dont work there.. but if i was behind the counter and could close more sells... i would.. ohh.. and yes.. i did haggle to buy the franchises [​IMG]

    you dont have to lie or make up stories to haggle.. you can do it honest and with a straight face..

    parisvegas
     

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