Smart Buying

Overcome Your Fear of Haggling

Don't be afraid to use this money skill to your advantage.

I don't mind haggling on the phone to get a lower price (see my column on negotiating to lower my cable bill). But when it comes to wheeling and dealing face-to-face, I balk. My husband, on the other hand, won't hesitate to talk his way to a better deal. In fact, he just saved us $200 on a bill from the plumber because he wasn't afraid to negotiate.

The water heater in a rental cottage behind our house died. So when he got a quote from the plumbing company, he asked if we could get an hour of labor knocked off the cost because we were frequent customers. Then he got another hour knocked off the total after questioning whether it was fair for the plumbers to charge us for time they spent driving back and forth to their warehouse to get parts.

Fear of offending someone prevents me from negotiating with people the way my husband does. If you, too, struggle at times to haggle, see this post on WiseBread about four things that might be holding you back from negotiating deals. Once you know how to overcome these roadblocks, you can follow our tips on how to bargain in this slide show.

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