At my job, we employ one person whose task is to get us the best deals on all of the conferences and meetings that we organize. Recently, he managed to secure a venue at almost half off the listed price – a reduction of approximately $50,000. This was a pretty big revelation for me, seeing how much power the consumer really has. When asked if anyone pays full price for such venues, he replied, “Some do! The key to getting something for less than the advertised price is to ask. What’s the worst thing that will happen? They’ll say no.” There are countless opportunities every day for you to start practicing your negotiation skills, so where can you start? You may be surprised at some of the places where I’ve found that negotiating works!

Online Classifieds

Sites like Craigslist offer a great starting point. Negotiating over emails is a great way to get your first deal; you have time to compose and think about your offer. The nice thing is, most posters don’t expect to get paid full price! I know that when I post an item, I automatically think that I’ll likely sell it for $5-10 less than I say in the ad.

Travel Agencies

Once again, posted ‘sales’ are usually not the best deal you can get when booking a holiday through an agent. Take the time to visit the office in person and ask for a better deal. Shop around with other agencies and sites and be ready to quote them. In competitive industries, getting your business is more important than making their profit margin.

The Grocery Store

Yep, you read that right. Recently, I visited the flower department of my local big box grocery store. I was looking for an orchid, to give to CF’s mother in celebration of New Year’s.  I found the best little orchid (half sized) priced at $16.99, which I would have been happy to pay. After discussing the price with CF within earshot of the sales rep, the rep offered to sell it to us for $9.99. Sold!

Negotiating can be a lot of fun. It made the top 30 financial things to try before you hit 30 over at TFB. Looking for some more tips on negotiating? Check out some of the links below:

How to Negotiate

Tips for travellers

Happy bargain hunting!