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YOUR MONEY
Smart consumer tips and strategies from Eyewitness News Online



Never Pay Retail

When we go shopping for big-ticket items like cars, we expect to haggle for a better price. But, how about everyday items? Sure, you can wait for a sale, but you may be able to negotiate a deal right away, says Steven Cohen from the Negotiation Skills Company. So, what’s the best strategy?

Let’s Make a Deal

Offer Cash

A merchant may give you a lower price if you offer to pay with cash. Not only will the shop get paid faster, but it also may save money. “There’s the issue of merchants who would rather not pay a fee to the credit card companies,” says Cohen.

Membership

If you’re a member of an organization, you may be eligible for a discount, without any work at all. Large corporations, like the AARP and AAA as well as groups like labor unions, have pre-negotiated discounts with companies ranging from hotels, airlines, to restaurants. So, if you’re already a member of any of these groups, ask for a membership packet to see what deals are available.

Loyalty

If a store sees you as a long-time customer, the merchant may also be willing to haggle with you. So, if you buy the same product over and over again, try buying it at the same location.

Plastic=Discount

Find out if the store offers a discount if you sign up for a credit card…especially if you’re spending a lot of money. Some of the major merchants will give you 10-20% off for this. If you know you won’t be using the card again, make sure to cancel it.

Be Polite

When asking for a discount, generally the supervisor or manager is the only one authorized to approve a deal. However, Cohen says never be rude and go over the salesperson’s head. You want that person on your side. So, he suggests using a “soft” approach. Here’s an example: You’re looking at a television and would like 10% off. Instead of immediately demanding to speak to someone in charge, ask the salesperson if he is authorized to give you a discount. If he says, “no”, ask politely if there’s anyone who may be able to approve this. With this method, not only are you less likely to put the salesperson on the defensive, but you’re also more likely to create an ally.

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