Doing Christmas Shopping Early and The 5 Laws of Retail Negotiation

On 4th of July, I did not want to go anywhere else since it fell in the middle of the week but my wife tagged me along to go to the outlet mall close to our apartment so she can check out some sale items.

Well, I told my wife that we would only be looking and not buy anything. After a couple of hours of window shopping, we ended up buying a lot of items not for ourselves but as a Christmas or birthday gifts to our friends and families.

For example, we went to a Tommy Hilfiger outlet store and there were a lot of polo shirts on sale. The polo shirts were the same quality as the shirt that I bought on Father’s day that were on sale for $24.99 (with MSRP $59.99 and Non-Sale price of $39.99). The shirts sold on 4th of July only cost $14.99. So the trip was not bad at all as we were able to trim down our Christmas shopping list and bought the gifts at a very bargain price.

Some bargain shoppers normally wait during the holidays to purchase items because that’s when you can save a lot. There are also some frugal people who take pride on their ability to bargain with high ticket items such as cars or real estate and yet when it comes to retail price some of this shoppers never think to second guess the sticker price. That seem to be a mistake says Marshall Loeb of Market watch. You can use this same bargaining skills to work for you at the department store, electronic outlets and furniture stores.

Here are the 5 Laws of Retail Negotiation:

Timing is everything. When my brother bought his car, he did it at the end of the month. Why? Because this is the best time to bargain since salespeople are trying to meet their quotas. According to Consumer Reports, you can also apply the same principle when going to retail stores. The best time to go to the store is in the morning since it’s less busy and it will ensure that the clerks have time to talk to you. Just don’t be in a hurry when you’re driving as those traffic police are also fishing so they can meet their own ticket quotas!

Ask about upcoming sales. Most salesclerk can advise you when an item is scheduled to go on sale, so be sure to ask before you go to the checkout line. If a sale is coming up, find out whether the store will place your item on hold until then — or better yet, let you have it at the discounted price.

Decipher the ticket. All of those seemingly insignificant price tag codes are clues. They often hold date stamps that can help you discover how long an item has been on the shelves, and some sales clerks will help you figure them out if you ask nicely enough. The longer a product has been sitting around gathering dust, the more willing the salespeople will be to negotiate on price.

Look for flaws.¬†Companies like Ross or Marshall are able to sell items for less not only because they can get those at a wholesale price from various manufacturers but also because some of those items have flaws. Well, what happens if you’re not into one of those stores and you see a flaw? Don’t be shy about pointing out cosmetic deficiencies. Retailers will often offer discounts on clothing, furniture and appliances with minor defects.

Be polite. It’s just a golden rule: Do unto others what you want others do unto you. Majority of salespeople will benefit from making a sale — even at a bargain price — but they’re unlikely to do it if it costs them their dignity. So be courteous and don’t be astonished if the negotiation process takes a little longer than a normal transaction. Tip: Do not haggle within earshot of other customers. Salesclerk don’t want to have to offer the same deal to everyone else.

9 thoughts on “Doing Christmas Shopping Early and The 5 Laws of Retail Negotiation”

  1. Pingback: Welcome to the 110th Carnival of Personal Finance - Fat Pitch Financials

  2. Pingback: Welcome to the 110th Carnival of Personal Finance - Fat Pitch Financials

  3. Pingback: Not Made Of Money » Saving On A Family Trip, Dump The TV, Christmas Shopping Early - My Carnival Picks

  4. go shopping on a rainy day. stores tend to be quiet and sales people are eager to sell

    go shopping with a friend who wants the same item. negiotiate with the sales person who then sells two with one transaction.

  5. Pingback:   Early Christmas Shopping Part II by FILAM Personal Finance

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