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Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 08-28-2013 10:56 PM 843 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1722 days


08-28-2013 10:56 PM

Being English, I only ever used to haggle over things on a foreign holiday or at a car boot sale.

But over the years I’ve gotten to know the timber merchants, hardware stores and paint shops where I can ask before paying ‘is that the best you can do? and get something ‘thrown in’ or they’ll knock a bit off.

Not much of a haggle, I admit, but it works. Today I saved about 20 bucks just by asking the guy behind the counter.

So I just wondered if any of you do it in your neck of the woods? or would it be considered a social taboo?


12 replies so far

View madts's profile

madts

1298 posts in 1093 days


#1 posted 08-28-2013 11:32 PM

I do it all the time. Something I learnt then I came to the States. In Denmark I did not do it because I did not know how.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View PittsburghTim's profile

PittsburghTim

214 posts in 1075 days


#2 posted 08-29-2013 12:05 AM

This is something I have learned to do on larger purchases. It is amazing how much one can save just by asking a simple question. I have to thank my mother for leading by example. She would take all four of us (I have two brothers and a sister) to the shoe store in the city twice a year. We would get fitted with tennis shoes and dress shoes for school and she would pick out a pair or two. After getting the total for the 8-10 pairs, she would speak with the owner and ask for his best price. He would study the sales slip and knock off 15 or 20%.

My first try was when we made a large furniture purchase after getting married. We picked out living room, dining room, and a bedroom set all Pennsylvania House when it was still fine American-made. When I asked the salesman if there was room to deal, he looked shocked and said that he didn’t think it was possible. Then I spoke to the owner, explained the amount of furniture that I was buying, and that we would be life-long customers. He did not cut the price, but let us have our pick of matress and box spring and threw in four beautiful Stiffel lamps.

In both cases, these businesses earned our loyalty and much more business from our recommendations to friends. I would not try to haggle over a small purchase, but for larger ones like large power equipment, appliances, and furniture, absolutely. As long as you do it in a respectful way, there is no harm.

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5452 posts in 1351 days


#3 posted 08-29-2013 01:11 AM

I do it too. It is a simple no risk question. They can say no if they like, or they can help out a bit. You won’t know unless you ask. I have saved at several places and on tools by asking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15578 posts in 1321 days


#4 posted 08-29-2013 01:17 AM

I always ask. Sometimes I think its a shame you have to, but almost everybody everywhere raises their price with the expectation they need to dicker a little. I had one antique dealer tell me he felt sorry for the folks that paid sticker price.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View DKV's profile

DKV

3194 posts in 1257 days


#5 posted 08-29-2013 02:53 AM

Donw, how sorry did he feel?

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

View PittsburghTim's profile

PittsburghTim

214 posts in 1075 days


#6 posted 08-29-2013 09:17 AM

I’m guessing not sorry enough to knock even a token amount off the price.

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1722 days


#7 posted 08-29-2013 10:00 PM

That’s interesting madts, you never would have had the cheek to ask for a better price in your motherland? or is it something you just wouldn’t do?
So a few respondents have no qualms about asking too, that makes me feel less like a cheapskate, but the inescapable truth is any money saved on materials is a bonus. Better in your pocket than someone else’s bank account.
Do you know what would be great? If someone read this who always paid the sticker price, asked if they could get a bit knocked off the next time they were buying materials. It’s not like you’re going to get a smack in the mouth. Just do it, and let us know how you got on.

View DKV's profile

DKV

3194 posts in 1257 days


#8 posted 08-29-2013 11:19 PM

When I was working and buying equipment or dickering for space I would bargain. Now, about the only time is when I buy a car. Tried it at the lumberyard and it didn’t work.

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1486 posts in 1010 days


#9 posted 08-29-2013 11:27 PM

I would think that if an item is quantifiable, then bargaining probably isn’t likely to be successful for relatively inexpensive items, e.g. 6 bolts at $0.10 each. However, on something like rough sawn lumber that is quite subjective in terms of the quantity, then I think asking, “Is that the best you can do?” should be reasonable. As others have mentioned, there is no downside to asking.

-- Art

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1068 posts in 1546 days


#10 posted 08-30-2013 12:56 AM

I took your advice and tried it at Walmart. The check out lady just gave me a blank look and didn’t respond.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Don W's profile

Don W

15578 posts in 1321 days


#11 posted 08-30-2013 12:59 AM

The check out lady just gave me a blank look and didn’t respond.

I think that’s the normal Walmart response to any question.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2597 posts in 2495 days


#12 posted 08-30-2013 02:29 AM

Usually depends on the kind of store and the employee –
If you are dealing with the 16 year old just doing part time…. he isn’t going to haggle.

Similar – there seems little haggling possible at a Sears, or Borg. Unless it is for something damaged.

But when you start to talk to owner/operators, at lumberyards or mills you can do a little horse tradin’.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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