How to Bargain and how I need to learn how to bargain

Do you bargain a lot? I don’t because with the all times I have tried bargaining, there’s probably only been a 5% success rate.  I’ve tried bargaining on hotel rooms, bad products and so on. I wouldn’t say I’m cheap, but if I feel that I’m being overcharged (like on a hotel room), I’ll often ask if they can go any lower.

Here are some rules, and hopefully one day I will be better at this.


  1. Do NOT go crazy on the person you are talking to. When I managed a retail store, people would start yelling and making stuff up so that I could give them a discount. Or they would purposely ruin items in front of me.  You yelling at me made me want to NOT give you the discount even more.  No need to scream.  However, the customers that were really nice, I never had a problem with giving discounts to.  And a lot of our best customers we would give discount cards to for future purchases. Being nice does help.
  2. Don’t be loud. If you ask for a discount, it should be a tad secretive.  The employee can’t give the discount out to everyone and if you are loud and everyone else hears, then this is just a bad situation for the employee. I used to have customers that were super loud, and whenever I would give them a discount so that they would get away from me, around 2 or 3 other people would then also come up to me and ask for the same.
  3. Don’t make an extreme offer that could offend the person who you are talking to.  If the item is priced at $150, and it’s actually worth $100, and you offer $3, that is just mean and could make the person you are trying to haggle with walk away from you.

Once you follow the rules, find the item that you think should be less.  Offer a certain percentage lower. For instance with hotels, it’s common to offer around 15% less. Be prepared to make a counteroffer. And if all else fails, just walk away if it’s not at the price that you want.

Now, like I said, I am not the best bargainer out there. What are your tips? If you disagree with any of mine, please say so! I’d like to improve.

And of course these are not all of the tips out there. Like I said, I’m not good at bargaining, so these are just tips from my perspective.


  1. says

    I guess it depends on where you are bargaining. In the US I will ask for a discount on "scratch and dent" items or ask a business to match the ad price of another store but in Latin America I bargain for just about everything. Ditto for southeast Asia but not in Japan which is much like the US where the posted price is generally what you are expected to pay. But I agree, it is hard to haggle for me as well (maybe I need more self confidence?).

  2. says

    I always bargain! Even if I am just asking for a tiny discount. I usually use the very nice approach and I usually get it haha. Works for lowering cell phone bills, interest rate, increasing credit limit, etc.

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