I recently bought a $100 shirt at J.Crew for roughly the same amount you’d spend on a case of watered-down beer.
How? Simple. I haggled.
You probably don’t know this, but we’re living in something of a golden age of haggling. Since the early 1980s, American brick-and-mortar retail spaces have managed to grow by 4% a year — despite the competition of online companies. But during the same period, the U.S. population has risen annually by less than 1%. So, without getting into the pesky details of economic trends, I’ll boil it down for you: Right now, there are too many shops and not enough shoppers.
Because most retailers have increasingly empowered their on-the-floor sales staffers to use personal judgment to offer “spot” deals and discounts
in the interest of luring customers back, you, my young consumer friend, have far more power over prices than you ever realized. Or as professional haggling coach Michael Sloopka puts it: “Everything is negotiable. Well, except not negotiating.”
Remember: There’s no shame in haggling. It’s not an act of desperation. The store employee will not be offended. When performed at its best, haggling is an art, the sign of a savvy businessman. At its worst it’s no more than playful banter. You fight for a better price for a car or house, so why not for a new phone or pair of running shoes?
So don’t be a sucker and join the zombies who swarm retail stores for discounts on Black Friday. With these smart plays, you can score those same deals for yourself every day.