Generally, in our American culture, negotiating for small everyday items is not something we are used to doing. Prices are fixed, and as consumers, we look at the price tag and decide if we are willing to pay the amount or not. The reason for this is because most of the people working at stores are not authorized to give you discounts. After all, they are just customer service representatives of sorts and not the person who is responsible for churning a profit.
Now, it is true that even if you tried to negotiate a price at Target or Wal-Mart, you would have no luck given the structure of the company. However, if you as a consumer seek out family owned and operated businesses, you can save more than you can imagine just by negotiating. Even if you cannot reduce the price, just the fact that you questioned the price may get the seller to throw in something or some service for free so you still get a bit more at the end of the day.
These days, sites like vrbo.com provide a way for people who have rental properties to lease them themselves without the use of a management company. This means that you often have direct access to the owner and you can email them or even call.
Suppose they are asking $250 a night for a weekend, you may be able to talk them down dramatically, depending on the time of year and week. Any property owner would rather get $100 per night than nothing. Once a day passes, there is no way to ever get that day back. Use this fact to your advantage. Make what you thought may not be possible, like a weekend getaway, possible by reminding the owner that something is better than nothing. There is a lot of inventory out there at it is not all rented all the time.
Angie’s List (angieslist.com) is a site where you can hire a local plumber or contractor. The site has grown in popularity and many businesses post their services and compete for your business. They rely heavily on the reviews of consumers for growing and continuing their business. It is a unique time in business history where the consumer really does have the power.
Sites like socialpower.com prove that the consumer has power in today’s economy. You can capitalize on this trend by negotiating prices on things you need that can save you hundreds of dollars a month. Take advantage of the economic downturn and resurrect the art of negotiation. Don’t be shy. This is your hard earned money and there is no reason to just give a guy what he asks just because he asks for it. Negotiate. You have nothing to lose and dollars to save.