What's the secret to paying less for Christmas presents without having to clip a single coupon? Haggling.

Not all prices are set in stone. According to the dictionary, haggling means to "wrangle" over the value of something. While you don't have to actually wrestle anyone (thank goodness!), you can use the powers of negotiation to score some serious discounts online this holiday season.


I always start by looking around online for the best price. This year, I was on the hunt for a set of OPI nail polishes that my teenage daughter couldn’t stop talking about. I used the app RedLaser, but you can also use Decide.com or Google Shopper to compare prices. I made sure to write down the deals so I could reference them later.

Chat Away

After deciding which retailer I wanted to use (I went with Amazon.com), I messaged the seller and asked if they'd be willing to lower their price to beat what their rivals were offering for the nail polish. I even sent him links so he could check out the prices for himself.

Keep it Polite and Personal

I learned that haggling online is more effective if you talk about how you feel from a customer's point of view. Rather than act like an irate shopper, behave as if you are an innocent victim. It's OK to be persistent, but never act rude or pushy. In my situation, the seller agreed to give me a $5 discount after I politely made my case.

Just Ask!

Even if I do not see any deals or discounts advertised, I like to use the chat function to ask my favorite retailers how I can save on my purchase. Are there any coupons, sales or loyalty rewards that I can use today for instant savings? Just by asking, I’ve discovered that stores like Bath and Body Works, JCPenney and Target (just to name a few) all offer discounts and special codes when you sign up for mobile alerts on your cell phone.

Ditch Your Online Shopping Cart

Sometimes I fill up my cart with items and then abandon it. Some companies monitor online shopping carts and will email discounts or other incentives in order to close the deal. According to Time magazine, Crocs.com, Lids.com, Overstock.com and Allposters.com have all been known to randomly offer discounts after a shopping cart has been abandoned online.

Don't Give Up!

Even if the retailer refuses to budge on the price, don't be afraid to ask for some other freebie such as a coupon to use on your next order. Don't forget that haggling isn’t just about getting the lowest price; it's more important to walk away feeling satisfied.

This is a guest post by Rose from Washington
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Haggling 101: How to Negotiate for a Better Deal