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The haggler's bible: Learning to cut expenses through haggling

Mar 2, 2012, 6 a.m.

Savvy seniors know that making the most of retirement dollars means getting the biggest "bang for their buck" whenever possible. Cutting expenses to save for a vacation, new car, or just to pad a nest egg, can be easily achieved by learning how to haggle for the best deal.

Haggling, bargaining for a better price, is a great way to begin cutting expenses and help one stay on budget. In some countries, haggling is actually a social expectation, and prices are marked higher than the vendor expects to receive, assuming consumers will know how to haggle for their desired price. In fact, it's common that if a customer doesn't know how to haggle, chances are pretty good they will get ripped off.

Don't be shy about trying to negotiate the best deal on a purchase, or even on an existing debt. Always be on the look out for opportunities that assist in cutting expenses and put your best haggling skills to work. Often folks know how to haggle when purchasing a new vehicle, but what if existing bills and everyday purchases could also be negotiated with a little haggling? A quick phone call to a credit card company could have your interest rate lowered in minutes; haggling with the vacation planner could score a discount for a group trip this summer; price-matching at local stores with sales ads will add up savings fast; and even simply asking for a discount for paying with cash (at a gas station or marketplace) could result in a sweet deal.

New York magazine loves the idea of haggling and suggests these tips on how to haggle well:

  1. Haggle anywhere and anytime
  2. Be prepared to leave empty-handed
  3. Be courteous and use charm
  4. Offer to pay cash

It's frugal and fun, so get out there and haggle your way to a better deal to start cutting your expenses today!

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