SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- We all love getting a good deal. But you don't necessarily need to wait for a sale or a coupon to nab a discount.
Whether you are buying tires or tomatoes, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney, in a partnership with Consumer Reports, found there is often wiggle room to either lower the price or get more bang for your buck.
But you may have to ask for it.
That's the reality when it comes to haggling. The problem is, many of us are not asking and end up paying more than we need to.
"A lot of people are actually really uncomfortable bargaining a price in store because they think it's rude, they think they're being cheap," said Tercius Bufete of Consumer Reports.
Which is why he recommends using the live chat feature on a retailer's website.
Not only does it help overcome the awkwardness, it may boost your odds of nabbing a bargain. Consumer Reports readers who haggled online reported greater success than those who did so face-to-face.
Even major retailers like Amazon may be willing to work with you. Even though they do not formally offer price matching, Consumer Reports found their customer service team to be very accommodating in terms of adjusting the price or offering a credit.
"Because at the end of the day, they just want your business, and they want you to keep buying things from them," adds Bufete.
Not sure how to approach the topic? Start by showing the seller you are really interested in the item.
"Really engage the customer service representative and ask them specific things, like bluetooth compatibility or password protection," Bufete said. "When you ask these types of questions, it really makes it look like you are ready to buy the product, and that makes it more likely for the retailer to offer you a discount."
Even if the sales representative will not lower the price, they may be able to sweeten the deal in other ways.
"There are other things of value you can ask for, like free expedited shipping or a free extended warranty," said Bufete.
Extended warranties may be particularly easy to acquire in a negotiation. In most cases, Consumer Reports does not recommend you pay for one, but there is nothing wrong with getting it for free.
In a survey, Consumer Reports found that 57 percent of shoppers who negotiated for a free warranty or warranty extension at an independent retailer were successful.
All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.
How haggling could get you a better bargain
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