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Feb 6, 2012

Tips to Big Savings

This article is written to try to get savings on big ticket items e.g. fridges, televisions, stereos, cars etc. There are several steps to follow so that you can get the best possible price. Your goal should always be to get the best possible price. Remember the old saying, "a dollar saved, is a dollar earned."
There are a couple of things to remember when haggling, time is your friend. This should be a slow process. Take a few weeks, or better yet, a couple of months. Each day or hour you wait is a tick to lower prices.
Wait for sales. We all know by now that after Christmas and New Year sales come every year. Do all your research first and then sit on your hands until it is sale season. Having a sale will do a lot of your job for you as the prices are already discounted.
Don't buy on credit. Forget about credit cards, interest free, car loans and personal loans. There is no use doing all this work to save a lot of money, only to pay additional in interest charges and costs.
Be prepared to use cash. I'm not talking about debit card or bank cards. I'm talking about paper money, real cash. Even with debit and bank cards', stores have to pay a percentage in charges. Thus they can't give you a lower price. Follow the steps below and pay cash and they will 100% give you the best price.
Be nice but not a pushover. Sales people and store managers are just like you. You will catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Make an enemy out of the sales staff by being rude or assertive and they will soon close down. Make them feel good and they will do somersaults for you. Do not get this confused with being a pushover. Make sure they know you know your stuff. But don't be rude.
The following 7 steps will help you gain big savings.
1. Ask yourself a really important question right away. "Do I really need what I'm considering buying?" You need a new fridge if the old one blows up. However, do you need a new fridge because the old one doesn't fit with your kitchen's colour scheme? Many people will try and justify a purchase. We have all done it. "Well the new television is more energy efficient than the old one, so I will save money in the long run". Or "Everyone now has a laptop in their house, so we better get one too". Really think about if you really need the product or if it is just a fancy toy. If it's a toy, forget it and save 100% of the money. If you need it, move on to step two.
2. Work out exactly what you need. What model or product do I want/need for my circumstances? Go window shopping and look for an item which fits 100% into your lifestyle. Things to consider are sticker price, size, colour, options, ease of use and ease to set up. Get an exact model number. For example the Excite XC-342 Plasma TV. Talk to a salesperson at a number of stores for their opinion. However don't buy yet!!!
3. Research, research, research. You would be surprised how many people forget this stage. The internet has so many sites covering every type of product you can think of. For most products you can find professional reviews on that product, also customer reviews on the products. Just Google the exact item number. You will be bombarded with articles and reviews by people just like you. Recently we did this for a video camera and found people had terrible experiences with a camera, even though it was a top brand. We dodged a bullet. There's no use spending good money on a dud product. Also visit the company's website for the product you want. Find out what date the product was released. If they have already released a product that supersedes the one you are looking at. Or approximately when there will be a product that supersedes the one you are looking at. This can come in handy down the line.
4. Ask yourself a further question. Can we purchase this product online or second-hand? There are plenty of reputable online stores who offer great discounts. The reason they can offer better discounts is due to the fact they don't have showrooms or sales staff. This keeps the costs down. Most just have a warehouse and a website. You will also be surprised how many very new products end up on eBay. Two years ago my wife and I won a brand new state of the art camera. We had a camera, so we sold it online for 25% less than what it was in the store. It was never even outside its box. Make sure if you purchase online or eBay, you do your research on the seller. There are plenty of sharks out there wanting people's money.
5. Jump on the phone. Call at least 5 places who would stock your item. Ask them for the very best deal if you purchased today. Tell them the exact model number you intend to purchase. Mention you are calling from store to store and only the best will get the business. Once you have the best price. Ask them to hang on a minute. Put down the phone and go for a 2 minute walk. Come back and say, "Thanks for looking that price up for me. However is there anything else you could take off?" Also write the deal down and ask for the name of the person you are speaking to. Write this down as well. Remember if you need the product delivered or installed, ask about these costs as well. It's no use saving $50 some place only to pay an additional $100 for delivery or installation.
6. Go into your four or five stores. Don't tell them you have already called around for deals. Wait for a salesperson to come up to you. Remember you want to give the impression you don't really want to purchase today. Ask the salesperson about the particular model you're interested in. Then the conversation should go as follows:
You: We are interested in this model, what is the best price you can do for us today.
Regardless of what the salesman says, you can respond with the following:
You: OK that is more than we were expecting, can you talk to someone about lowering the price?
Again, regardless of what the salesman says, you can respond with the following:
You: This still seems high, how about (now offer a price that is substantially lower than the best deal).
Again, regardless of what the salesman says, you can respond with the following:
You: OK what about if we pay cash, how about lowering the price further.
Again, regardless of what the salesman says, you can respond with the following:
You: OK if that is your best deal, we have a few other places to visit. However we will be purchasing today. So we will let you know. Are you working all day?
At this point, grab the salesman's name and write down the deal. Also grab the store's phone number so you can call if you have any more questions. There is an optional thing to ask. Sometimes stores will sell display stock cheaper than new stock.This is called floor stock. Why not ask the question, will you sell the floor stock to me at a cheaper price? You never know what the answer might be. This can be especially true if a superseded model has come out, or has just come out to replace yours. They might be days away from not selling or taking your model off the floor to make room for the new TV.
Do the same thing at all four stores. Now compare all the deals and find the one you want to go for. Phone each of the stores you didn't choose and tell them the deal. Explain you are on your way there now, unless they can better the offer. You never know what they might come up with at this point. Try to speak to the salesperson you talked to when you went in the store.
7. Go in person to the place where you intend to purchase. Ask one last time, not if they can take any additional money off the product but if they can add anything to the sale. For example if you purchased a Blu-ray player they might be able to add a free movie. Explain what you would like and just see if they will bite. Pay your cash and realise you have got a great deal.
One last thing to remember is the more things you purchase the better. If you are purchasing a TV, surround sound system, Blu-ray player and video camera in one purchase. Your buying power is through the roof. Do the steps below on each item however in steps 5 and 6 combine all the products. If you find the best price you can on all items individually, combine this price and start chipping away at it. Many stores due to the big dollar amount might sell you a couple of the cheaper items at cost price, just to make a profit on the biggest price item. If you have done your research properly you hold all the cards.
8. There is one final step. Make sure your insurance company knows about your purchase. Also make sure you fill in any warranty cards and post them off. Plus keep your purchase receipt in a safe place. There is no use saving a bucket load of money only to have your item smashed in some accident with no insurance cover. Or to have not filled out the warranty card, so you can't send it off to be fixed if it starts playing up. Many people are so focused on getting the best deal, they forget about these steps for the long term.
Good luck on saving big money.
My name is Adam Goulding and my story is quite simple. Six years ago my bank balance was so low paying rent was a big problem. March 15th 2005 was the day rock-bottom was hit emotionally and financially for me. The term completely broke and debt-ridden sums it up nicely. This was the result of a "she will be right" attitude.
Then like a flash of lightning, a thought so extremely simple, yet a powerful realisation hit me. Whatever happened in my life with money up to March 15th 2005 wasn't working! Most decisions about my money to then were wrong. This one true realisation changed my life... who could show me a way out of financial danger? Not changing was not an option, as things would only get worse as time went by.