Have you ever met a bargain hunter?
If you had, you’d know it. You’ve heard them brag about the great deals they’re constantly getting. And to be completely honest, you’re getting a little jealous.
Why should they be getting such great deals why the rest of us are paying out the nose?
Envy no more, because those skills can be learned. And in this article, we’ll walk you through the ways every expert bargain hunter gets killer deals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
For many shoppers, the sticker price is set in stone. If you want to walk out of a store with an item, you have no other choice than to walk up to the cash register and pay the amount printed on the label — plus tax.
But to the bargain hunter, the sticker price is more of a suggestion. And it’s not a great one. They’ll either walk out of the store having paid far below the sticker price, or they will leave without it.
The trick is to learn how to haggle.
Haggling is a long-lost art for most consumers. Many people might negotiate on things like cars or Craigslist listings. But it’s a rare thing for someone to bring an item up to a cashier and demand a lower price.
In fact, many people feel like it’s improper to haggle in a retail store.
But if you want to find a great bargain, propriety be damned!
What’s worth more to you: conforming to social norms or paying more than you need to?
Here are a few tips to haggle.
Look For Blemishes
Many retailers will offer discounts for slightly damaged goods. And if you can stand to have an item that’s slightly damaged (hint: you can) you can get a bargain.
Even if an item isn’t already discounted, pointing out a minor flaw can get you a discount. Even something as small as a salt spot which could be washed out with water.
Just don’t purposely damage the item yourself. That’s illegal.
Don’t Start Too Low
When you haggle with someone, you want to seem reasonable. If your opening offer is too low, the seller will laugh you out of the store.
Start by offering a little lower than you would want to pay, then let them negotiate you up to your fair price. But if you lowball them, they won’t even engage.
Silence makes a lot of people uncomfortable. And when you’re negotiating, you can use that to your advantage.
When you talk too much, it makes you appear nervous or unconfident. And in a negotiation, you might give away your hand.
But when you stay quiet, the other person has to speculate about what you’re thinking. Their mind races.
And as they go through scenario after scenario, they get more anxious.
This is especially true if your money is at stake. You have the upper hand because you can take your business elsewhere. But if you leave, your money leaves with you.
Stay quiet, stay cool, and let the seller sweat a bit.
When All Else Fails, Walk Away
If the seller absolutely will not budge, walk out of the store. Again, you have nothing to lose here. You can buy the item somewhere else.
The true bargain hunter knows that it’s better to keep hunting than to spend more money than you need to.
And sometimes, your walking away is all it takes to get the seller to agree to your price.
Dig Through Thrift Stores
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
People often donate to thrift stores like Goodwill or The Salvation Army without first checking to see what something is worth.
These items might be slightly used, but the bargain shopper knows that’s a small price to pay for a deal.
New donations pour in every day, and you never know what you can find. And, you can get an even better deal if you haggle there, too.
The Secret To Online Auctions
Online auctions are like catnip to bargain hunters. eBay has been a hotbed of bargain shoppers ever since it was first founded in the late 90s.
Auctions are a great way to hunt for bargains, but if you know where to look, you can save even more money.
There are a few online auction sites that start all listings at one cent. These are for quality items, too. Some even list cars!
DealDash is one of these sites. Auctions start at one cent, and every bid goes up by a penny. If no one bids before the 10-second auction timer runs out, the auction ends.
If you find a listing that no one else is interested in, you can walk away with it for just one cent.
eBay is far and away the most popular online auction site. This is a double-edged sword because everyone knows they can find a good deal there, which creates more competition.
But sometimes a seller will make a typo in the listing that will keep people from finding it. If you use misspelled search terms–like Playstation or Nike sneakers–you might be able to stumble upon an auction that no one else has found.
Buy In Bulk–If You Can
Buying in bulk is a great way to reduce your per-item cost. A lot of people pass on buying in bulk because it isn’t feasible to use all of the items before they go bad.
But if you buy imperishable items that you use constantly–such as paper towels or deodorant–buying in bulk can save you money in the long run.
Become a Master Bargain Hunter
No one likes to spend more money than they need to. And if you follow these tips to become a master bargain hunter, you won’t have to.