How to Save Money On Electronics
Oh, the lost art of bartering. There was a time not so very long ago when the price of just about anything was open to negotiation, but these days most of us see the sticker price on a new gadget and assume it’s written in stone. This is critical when you are trying to save money on electronics.
Not so, as a recent study by Consumer Report confirms. When it comes to electronics in particular, many retailers are more flexible on prices than you might think, and buyers who are willing and able to haggle are likely to walk away having gotten a better deal.
So the next time you’re shopping for a new laptop, LED TV, digital camera or set of wireless speakers, don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price. Here’s what you need to know about the fine art of haggling over electronics:
Where to negotiate
Brick-and-mortar stores that have to compete with the internet are often the most willing to offer some wiggle room on pricing. Take Best Buy for example, where salesmen and managers are authorized to adjust the price to close a sale. Independently-owned stores and some of the smaller online retailers may also be open to a little dickering over price.
Where not to negotiate
The places where you’re least likely to be able to bargain over price are major online retailers like Amazon and Buy.com. Big “discount” stores like Walmart or Target are equally unyielding.
How to negotiate
Lots of people are understandably uncomfortable about asking to save money on electronics, but don’t let that stop you. Be polite and respectful, but also direct. Ask a salesperson outright if there’s a possibility of getting a lower price; don’t try to be vague and expect any traction.
When to negotiate
You’re most likely to be successful at the end of the month, as many of the big electronics stores have monthly goals they’re trying to meet. And when you know a new model of a certain gadget is about to come out, that’s prime time to go bargain hunting for the previous model.
What to expect
Don’t walk into a store thinking you’re going to get a steal. If you can save a few bucks, that’s a few extra bucks in your pocket. Most major stores will at least match a competitor’s lower price, and even if you can’t get a price reduction, you might be able to get a salesperson to throw in a few extra perks as incentive. Generally speaking, you’ll have the best luck haggling over high-end items to save money on electronics that will result in a higher commission to the person who sells them.