You might think that haggling is something reserved for countries other than mainland USA, and to some extent, you’d be right. You probably wouldn’t want to haggle on a set business price, such as roof cleaning, but for local individual sellers it’s game on!
Mexico and China are two examples of countries where haggling is extremely prevalent, in fact, if you don’t haggle, you’re probably going to pay up to 30x the price you could have purchased the item for.
While most people think that haggling is dead due to all the major corporations in the USA, there is still a place for haggling.
Of course, major department stores are not the correct place to haggle, as they have no control over pricing, however smaller shops and stores are excellent places to try and knock a few dollars off of your total.
A recent example of this involved my car. I had trouble with the clutch in my 2012 civic(yes I do still drive a manual), and took it to the shop to get it fixed. They looked over the car and gave me an estimate of $500 parts/labor in order to put a new clutch in. I was able to speak with the manager and haggle the price down to $400.
This might not seem like a lot, but $100 saved adds up when you’re able to haggle multiple times a year.
As mentioned before, this is a necessary thing to do when traveling abroad in most countries, especially if you look like a foreigner.
One of the strongest techniques for haggling is to drop an extremely lowball price and then walk away. For example, if you were trying to purchase a pair of sunglasses that the seller wanted $50 for, you could offer $5 and then walk away when they decline.
Most of the time the seller will quickly backtrack as they see that they are about to lose a potential sell. You might even get them for $10-15!
This only works where people are desperate to make sales, so if you’re in an affluent area, you probably wont have much luck.
My advice is to stay away from haggling in major chains and stores, but to do your best to haggle with local shops and individuals. The worst that can happen is that you pay what you would have originally.