You hear about it, read about it, and even dream that one day it might be you. That lady that got $200 worth of groceries for $5, or that guy that scored a $500 ring for $1 at a garage sale. Can that really happen? Sure it can. There are great deals to be had on almost anything if you know where to look and how to get them. They are not going to jump out at you. You either have to be in the know, or know someone in the know. Here are 5 secrets to finding great deals in real life.
And I do not just mean on cars and homes. You can negotiate the price on almost anything, but big ticket items are especially negotiable. First, it is important to be respectful. If you are at a smaller mom and pop shop, ask to speak with the owner. This is the person who sets the prices and therefor the one who can actually help you out. At a larger store ask for a manager as they will be more likely to have authority to offer a better price. If you have done your research you will know where you can go to get better prices and that usually works well as leverage. It also helps if you are a regular customer anyway, and the deal is even sweeter if you are buying more than one thing. If you plan to purchase more than one big ticket item, layer the negotiation. Ask for a discount on one item, then when you have it, mention you are buying another item and ask for a cut on it also. Lastly, ask for a cash discount.
Sign up for e-mails from stores you frequent and sit back and let the deals roll in. If they offer a loyalty card sign up, and stay on top of their websites. You will be the first to know when there is a great sale, you will not miss out on coupons from the store, and you can shop through online rebate sites to get an even deeper discount. Online shopping is especially useful for clothing and accessories. Be sure to take advantage of free shipping offers or flat shipping rates whenever possible. And take note if shipping makes is more expensive than just going to the store. It does not happen often, but it does happen.
Let Someone Else Do the Research
Coupon clipping and sale matching can take hours and make it seem like the money saved is not worth the time. However, there can be significant grocery savings to be had and there is no need to spend all that time. There are hundreds of blogs that match up the deals for you, and all you have to do it pick and choose which ones you want to take advantage of.
Do Your Homework
You want that great garage sale or flea market find? Know what you are looking for. Read up on fine jewelry and certain antique pieces so that you know when you are looking at a treasure. If the owner does not realize what they have, you could score big time.
If you need or want something, commit to finding the best deal. Be patient and wait for that perfect sale. Research prices and sale cycles so you know when the best time is to buy that new washer or new car. Patience reaps rewards in the form of cash when it comes to finding a deal.
Jim Miller is a corporate accountant and guest author at TopCollegesOnline.org, a site to help students find affordable online associates degrees.