How to shop and save money during the holidays

Although this is not something I write about regularly, I thought I would share my recent shopping experiences at retail with the hopes that some of you can save some money on items you want to buy during the holiday shopping season.

I read a survey recently that talked about how many retail store managers have been given permission to allow you to haggle prices of products. For most major retailers, this is something that has never really happened. For example, if you walked into a Best Buy and looked to purchase a new TV, you would simply pay the price as stated and that was that. Today, some of these managers are empowered to allow for discounts should you ask for them and the key is YOU must initiate the negotiations. It makes no sense for the manager to offer you a discount because it is in their best financial interest to sell products at full price. However, in these tough times, retailers want to reduce inventory and earn what they can so do not be afraid to ask for 10 or even 20 percent off of the price. If you can save 20, 50, or even hundreds of dollars simply by asking that is money in your pocket that can be used for other things such as gas, food, or savings!

I tried this out last week when I went into a Williams Sonoma and was looking to purchase a few things for my wife. I asked the store manager for a discount on an item and without hesitation she said fine and I get 10 percent off. How great is that?! All I did was ask….and I did receive!

The point of this is that today many retailers are hurting from the recession, especially local retailers, and while not every retail store manager will grant your request, you need to ask for whatever you can get especially on large purchases. You can also see if they have any floor models which they will usually discount anyway or shop a competitor first and then come to the store you wish to buy from armed with this info. Many retailers will match their competitor’s price and that can mean more savings for you. Also, if you are a loyal customer of that retailer let them know that as well. I have used this more than once to get a discount.

Happy shopping!

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