If you want a deal, you have to ask for one. The worst that could happen is that they'll say no. The other side of the coin is, you could get a deal. There have been countless times I get a deal simply because I ask for one. When the cider press and crusher combination Steve found for me at the garage sale was marked $45, I got it for $40, simply because I said to the woman, "I don't suppose you could let me have it for forty?" And she said yes.
Here is my freezer illustration: The same freezer that Steve looked at online the week before I did was a 16.7 cf Frigidaire at Best Buy. It was $549. When I found it online the following Saturday, it was on sale for $494.99. I called the local Best Buy to find out if they deliver to my city and how much. The fellow I talked to said yes, and that delivery was $29.99. So I printed the online special and Steve and I set off for the store.
When we got there, we found the freezer, but the sign didn't say anything about the online price, so I showed the salesman my screen print and asked about it. Sure- they'll match the price. We went to go ring it up but he had trouble with their system taking the SKU. So he calls over the system expert. She has trouble, so she calls over the manager. She has trouble, so they try it in on a different terminal. Still won't take. She looks for another freezer in their system. There aren't any in the warehouse, and there aren't any in any of the other Best Buys in the Pacific Northwest. So this is where I just got lucky.
She tells me she can give me an open box price if I want to take the floor model. So I say sure, because I remember only a couple of smudges on the inside of the freezer- those could be washed off later. While she's working on ringing it up (they're still having trouble with this system, which was evidently only a couple of weeks old), Steve and I go back and pore over the freezer, just to make sure. Everything looks good.
I go back to the register, and she can't ring it up as a delivery because the system is not taking the SKU in the delivery section of the system- she can only ring it up as a pick up order. She decides to go ahead and ring it up as a pick up order and she would personally make sure it got scheduled for delivery. All this time I'm being patient and pleasant because it's not her fault that she's having all this trouble with the system and this SKU. She gets it rung up and I sign for it. Then I remember the delivery charge and I ask, "What about the delivery charge?"
"Don't worry about it, " she answered. So I got a $549 freezer delivered for $475. But it didn't stop there.
The inside of my new freezer
In the state of Oregon we have this organization called The Energy Trust. I guess they exist to get people to use less energy because they have all kinds of deals for buying Energy Star appliances. They will also give you thirty bucks for having someone they approve of haul away your old fridge, in order to get it recycled properly. Well, I didn't have an old freezer to recycle, but the new freezer qualified for a $50 check from them. I filled out the online application, and sent them a copy of the receipt. So I got the freezer for $425.
This freezer is pretty cool, too. This freezer uses 615 kwh per year, so they estimate it'll cost $65 a year to run. Well, we all know that as energy prices rise, so will this, but at least it's way on the low end of energy use. It has some pretty cool features, too. The control for it is in the front of the door, rather than on the inside, so you don't have to open the door to change something. It has an Extreme Freeze feature, to quickly freeze something down, a door ajar alarm, a control lockout to prevent someone from accidentally changing the temperature. It has a temperature alarm, to let you know if the interior is getting too warm, and a power failure indicator to let you know that happened if you didn't happen to be around when it did. I think my favorite feature on this thing is the Sabbath mode, which disables all lights and other electrical activity , with the exception of the compressor of course, which continues to keep everything cold. This is cool to me, because no phantom load. Of course, if you leave this on, then none of your other alarms or bells and whistles work. But it's still cool to me.
So I think I did pretty good.
If you're not used to negotiating, just remember a few things. Ask for a deal. The worst that could happen is that they say no. Don't get outrageous about it- if you low ball, you'll risk insulting them, and that is the end of your negotiation. Be pleasant through the whole thing, so they want to play too. And remember that in a negotiation, try to come up with an offer where everybody wins. Know where your limit is, and don't go over it. Also, be willing to settle, but start with more so you can give up only to the point where you want to stop.
And if there's only one thing you can remember, it's ask.