We all know that what we pay for appliances in stores is what is listed on the price tag, right? Well, not necessarily. If you know when and where to haggle, you can save thousands! How do you do this? Well, one good way is by getting retailers to price-match and undercut each other. Here’s how I did it, and how you can, too.
So my wife and I were recently looking for appliances for a major kitchen renovation, and we found out that you can negotiate for appliances at local retail stores to save hundreds, or even thousands, by following the steps outlined below.
Do Some Online Research
This works best with heavy, big-ticket items, like washing machines and ovens, that are not easy to buy online at places like Amazon. What you do is first, you go online and you do some research. Never go to a store without research, and fall for a sales pitch! Information is your most powerful tool, and a well-informed consumer is a wise consumer.
So, do some research into quality and approximate price. I personally like Consumer Reports a lot, because they don’t take advertisements and have a good reputation. You can also google the products you are interested in, and read reviews. If you want, you can actually visit the stores to see the products in person, but do not buy at this time. By all means get price quotes, but do not buy.
Once you have settled on one or more products, look up prices in different stores on the internet. The key is that, since you will negotiate for appliances at local stores, you have to look up prices at local stores as well. For instance, if you need an oven, check out the prices on the websites of The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Sears, etc.
Put you entire shopping list in a virtual shopping cart at each store, and see where you get the lowest price. Make sure to google coupon codes for each store, and apply those. We did this for our appliance list, and found the lowest prices at Best Buy.
Next, go to the manufacturer’s website(s), and see if they have any additional offers or rebates. In our case, we settled on a Kitchen-Aid appliance suite, and found that Kitchen-Aid was running a promotion where you can get a rebate for hundreds or thousands of dollars if you buy multiple appliances. Sweet!
Then, read the fine print on the offers or rebates. This is where we hit a snag: the rebate we wanted was not applicable to purchases at Best Buy, and a number of other stores. If you have, at this point, maximized all offers, rebates, and coupon codes, go ahead and buy the items, and make sure to request they throw in free delivery. If they do, you’re done.
However, if you hit a hurdle, like we did, it’s time to negotiate.
Wheeling and Dealing
First, print out your online shopping cart from the lowest merchant. Then, hit the road. Go to each of your local stores by order of preference, and ask them to match their competitor. Be nice, honest, and cordial, but firm. Don’t get angry if they won’t price-match. Just say thanks and leave.
Do not call. If salespeople can’t see you, and you’re just a voice over the phone, they won’t make half the effort. It’s a whole different ballgame if you are face-to-face, and they know they can close the sale and get their commission right then and there if they give you your desired price. Also, dress up nice. You don’t have to wear a suit (and should not), but don’t wear a stained shirt and flip-flops. Salespeople (and people in general) will treat you better if you look prosperous and financially capable of buying what they are selling.
Go from store to store, until someone gives you the price you want. If you don’t get it, either choose different items and repeat the process, or go back and accept the lowest quote. In our case, the first two stores refused to match. We politely thanked the salespeople for their time, took their cards, and left. However, the third store (H.H. Gregg) actually beat the Best Buy price, and confirmed that we would get the Kitchen-Aid rebate! We wound up getting a high-end oven, microwave, cooktop, island hood, warming drawer, and dishwasher for $6,200 (post-rebate)!
Summing It Up
Despite the popular belief that you cannot negotiate for appliances at big-box stores, the fact is that you indeed can. Do a little bit of haggling, and don’t overpay!
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