How to Haggle for Almost Anything

Learning how to haggle is an invaluable skill. These strategies will help you negotiate a better price for just about any product or service.

Illustration of two people on a footbridge negotiating and shaking hands
(Image credit: Illustration by Laura Liedo)

You can learn how to haggle for just about any product or service — your cable and cellphone bills, credit card interest rates, and even your rent. Negotiating prices isn't just for people buying cars or houses. You just need to borrow these tried-and-true methods of savvy negotiators.

Talk less, listen more. Ask open-ended questions rather than ones that might yield an abrupt yes or no response. A common mistake is to ask, “Do you have flexibility?” says Kwame Christian, director of the American Negotiation Institute and author of Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life. Instead ask, “What flexibility do you have?” This sets the conversation off with the assumption that there is always some wiggle room. You’ll find out just how much room there is by listening more and talking less. That lets the other person reveal more information that you can use to drive a bargain. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Contributing Writer, -

Katherine Reynolds Lewis is an award-winning journalist, speaker and author of The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever – And What to Do About It. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Fortune, Medium, Mother Jones, The New York Times, Parents, Slate, USA Today, The Washington Post and Working Mother, among others. She's been an EWA Education Reporting Fellow, Fund for Investigative Journalism fellow and Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. Residencies include the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ragdale. A Harvard physics graduate, Katherine previously worked as a national correspondent for Newhouse and Bloomberg News, covering everything from financial and media policy to the White House.

With contributions from