Haggling for a better deal during the holidays

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert, Cody Schultz - News Producer

HOUSTON - For most shoppers, what's on the price tag is what they pay. But for some, it's simply a starting point in a negotiation.

According to Consumer Reports, 89 percent of people who take the time to try and get a better price are rewarded with savings. While many customers are too embarrassed to try and get a better deal, the savings are often worth it.

Consumer Reports recommends starting with a salesperson. Hagglers may have to ask for a manager, but 55 percent of shoppers polled said that just saying they planned to check competitors' prices worked. Just under half of those surveyed said they used circulars or coupons from other competitors as leverage to get a better price.

Consumer Reports said customers should try to explain why they deserve a break, and argue that they're a loyal customer. Shoppers can also chat up the salesperson, and ask questions that make them answer with more than a simple yes or no. If neither of those tactics work, try being quiet. Silence can be awkward, and the store employee will likely say something to break the tension, possibly making a better offer.

Also, shoppers can resort to paying in cash. Businesses have to pay fees to credit card companies, so let the salesperson fork over that money in a discount.

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