When I first learned it’s possible to negotiate prices at mainstream stores, I was pretty skeptical. To be honest, the only time I even dreamed of haggling was during the purchase of a car!
But as it turns out, the days of straight-up retail pricing are coming to a close, to be replaced by a customer's right to negotiate for the price they want. Here are seven tips for haggling your way down to a real deal at Home Depot.
Sales clerks are now trained to haggle
If you enter a national chain expecting to find employees who are strangers to haggling with customers, it may be time to think again!
In the last few years, big box retailers have been training their floor staff and management to negotiate with customers…albeit on the sly (for more see The New York Times).
7 Ways to haggle at Home Depot
Each of these tactics has worked for various Home Depot customers on various items—making them well worth the effort!
1. Make a beeline for floor models, repackaged, "open box," or overstocks.
If you find items that are floor models, repackaged/open box returns, or overstocks—it’s time to put your haggling hat on!
- Tips from the pros: Home Depot employees are authorized to offer as much as a $50 discount without seeking a manager's approval (for more see Consumerist).
2. Know how to price compare with competitors.
Home Depot has a well-established price-matching program (even with its own website!).
- Tips from the pros: Some customers have even found Home Depot to go one better—offering 10% less than the competitor's price to get the sale!
3. Find the flaws, scratches, and dents.
Home Depot employees state that they’re encouraged to clear out flawed or damaged items, haggling as needed to move them.
- Tips from the pros: Your initial task should be anywhere from 20% to 50% depending on the amount of damage.
4. Haggle down already reduced or clearance prices.
If a price is already reduced—or even better, on clearance—you know the store really wants to move it. So be prepared to make a counter offer!
5. Flat out ask for a discount.
This can work especially well if you’re lucky enough to be standing in line behind a customer who is getting a discount. For example, say the customer in front of you is in the process of getting a discount; ask if you can get the same discount!
- Tips from the pros: You’ll get much further if you assume the price is NOT set in stone—it will also show up in your tone and the confidence of your question.
6. Bundle your way to deeper savings or freebies.
Let's say you’re purchasing a lawn mower AND an edger. Here, you can ask for a bundled discount. If you’re asked to specify, ask for 15% off, or a flat dollar amount like $50.
7. Ask for a quantity discount.
If you’re buying more than one of an item, ask the department manager what kind of quantity discount they can offer you. If you’re prepared to buy even more with the right discount, make mention of this.
- Tips from the pros: Here, take note that you’re not asking IF the manager can offer you a quantity discount. You’re asking WHAT KIND of quantity discount you can get—giving the manager options, but not the option to opt out!