The Rebirth of Price Haggling

April 4, 2008
Special Feature

Dickering with a car dealer over the price of a new or used car is part of the American way, but old-fashioned bargaining has fallen off when it comes to other consumer goods. With the economy in the doldrums, however, driving a hard bargain is making a comeback, even at big-box stores

“It's just as unpleasant to get more than you bargain for as to get less.”—George Bernard Shaw

Dickering with a car dealer over the price of a new or used car is part of the American way, but old-fashioned bargaining has fallen off when it comes to other consumer goods. With the economy in the doldrums, however, driving a hard bargain is making a comeback, even at big-box stores like Circuit City, Best Buy, and Home Depot.

Savvy and confident consumers are now finding that sticker prices on big-ticket items like plasma TVs are negotiable, according to a recent New York Times report. They are also discovering that the bargaining phenomenon has spread to lower-cost items, like cameras and audio equipment, to furniture like rugs and couches, and even to clothing.

Helping to fuel the haggling trend is the wealth of information consumers can find on the Internet. With a few clicks of a mouse, a potential buyer can research price and availability from a number of sites and use this information to get discounts from competing retailers.

For some tips on effective bargaining take a look at How to Haggle and How to Get the Best Price.

90%Percentage of people who say they have haggled and got a lower price.(Consumer Reports survey, 2007)