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Smart Buying

Steal these Deals: Habitual Haggler

He asks for a lower price on just about everything.

Neil Glick haggles all the time, but he’s not argumentative or confrontational. Instead, his approach is calm and amicable. And his savings are conclusive—he’s scored deals on furniture, electronics, appliances and more.

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“All you have to say is, ‘Can you help me out with this price?’ ” says Glick. For example, he saved $40 on a $600 dishwasher just by asking (okay, and mildly threatening the salesman that he would leave and look for a better deal online).

As a real estate agent in Washington, D.C., Glick is involved in negotiations all the time. And he always keeps an eye out for opportunities to shave the price. “It’s like intuition at this point,” he says. Large purchases—buying more than one of the same item or spending a significant amount of money—are the best

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openings. When Glick was preparing two homes for the market, he hired a contractor to install air-conditioning systems in both—and asked the contractor for a break. He saved $3,000. And it always helps if you pay cash, he says.

Before he makes a purchase online, Glick calls the vendor to ask whether the price shown is the lowest he can get. And he manages to shave at least 10% off almost every purchase at an antique shop or flea market.

But Glick is careful not to insult retailers by belittling their product or demanding unrealistic deals. “Don’t get mad if you don’t get what you want,” he says. “But it never hurts to ask.”

Top Tips

Have a price in mind before you shop. Don’t lose your cool. Bring cash. Be ready to walk away from a bad deal.