How to Get a Sale Price Even Though There Isn’t a Sale

Negotiate

Contrary to what you may think, the price you see on the sticker isn’t always the price you have to pay, according to Emily Hunter, an associate professor of management at Baylor University.

“I find that people in general don’t consider negotiating an option when they’re at a store,” Hunter says. “They think about it as an option at a garage sale, but not like a big-box retailer.”

One possible tactic: Shoppers can use a defect as leverage for a discount. (Think fruit that is bruised or a shirt that has a small tear or stain.) Additionally, if there’s any question of how much an item costs — such as if it’s not clearly marked on the shelf — try requesting the lower of the potential prices.

Even if there’s nothing wrong with a product, you can still ask for a lower price, Hunter says. Particularly on big-ticket items, retailers may want to work with you to win your business. To get the best outcome, be sure to clearly state what you want — such as 30% off — instead of starting with “what’s the best price you can give me?”

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