If you're looking for ways to get more for less, "Ultimate Cheapskate" Jeff Yeager is your man. Jeff, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches, shares easy ways to become a better negotiator and save money.
According to Jeff, nice guys finish first. "Don't be a schmuck," he says. "Always be friendly and polite when asking for a better price. I often ask for (and receive) a 'Nice Guy Discount'—a discount based simply on the fact that I'm a nice guy."
Be honest, but don't be shy, Jeff says. "Don't fabricate or exaggerate, but politely speak your mind if you're dissatisfied with the service you've received or the quality of a product," he says. "It may very likely get you a discount."
If you want a quantity discount, first negotiate the best price for a single item and then reveal that you're interested in buying more than one, Jeff says. "The per-unit price should drop even more," he says.
Watch for sales before and after you buy, Jeff says. "Many retailers will give you the sale price or match a competitor's sale price, even if the item you're interested in isn't on sale at the time," Jeff says. "Some will even refund the difference after the fact."
Paying with cash instead of a credit card can often get you a better price because vendors typically pay a processing fee on credit card transactions, Jeff says.
Don't sell yourself short by naming a price. "Let the salesman name his price first," he says. "Don't tell him what you're willing to pay—ask him what he's willing to take. He might start with an even lower price than you would have proposed."
Never bargain on a Monday. Jeff says the best deals are made late in the week, particularly on Fridays and especially before holidays or three-day weekends. "Everyone's in a good mood and wants to wrap things up," he says.
If you're still shy about haggling for a better price, take a baby step by asking if you're eligible for a discount based on memberships, Jeff says. "Promotions" also is a magic word for many catalog companies and other retailers. "Just ask if any promotions are currently being offered, as many times discount programs are available but the customer needs to mention it first," he says.