How to Negotiate an Appliance Sale

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There is no benefit to paying full retail price for an appliance you can get with only the slightest effort to negotiate. Some appliance stores will refuse to bargain. Others will bargain but with great reluctance. Major appliances can be quite expensive, so there is usually some wiggle room in the sales price. And with a markup from wholesale to retail of 100 percent, it's a good idea to bargain.

  • Do your homework and check out what others are charging for the same item. Browse the Web, check the classifieds or visit other stores.

  • Be polite at all times with retailers. The nice consumer gets more than a nasty one.

  • Open your bargaining with an eye-opening statement like, "It's perfect, but just so expensive."

  • Ask the merchant about a sale price, and when the item will go on sale. If the appliance is already on sale, the price is even more negotiable because the store wants to move this product quickly.

  • Take advantage of any flaws or problems you see with the appliance, even the smallest defect. If the appliance is a display or a demo model, you should certainly get a discount. If the merchant is out of stock on the model you want, you can ask for a discount on a more expensive model.

  • Ask for a volume discount if you can buy more than one. Maybe your mother needs a new washing machine as well.

  • Spend lots of time with the salesperson. The more time he invests, the more flexible he will be. The more time spent with a salesperson, the more the store has invested in the deal, the more it stands to lose if the purchase doesn't go through, and the more flexible they will likely be.

  • Ask to speak with a manager because they have pricing authority.

  • Be prepared to buy with cash. Merchants are more likely to bargain when they don't have to cover the 3 percent credit card merchant fee.

  • Ask them to throw in one more thing when you're about to close the deal, like some free laundry detergent, pots and pans, whatever you can get.

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