5 things you didn’t know you could negotiate

You don’t always have to pay the price on your bill or at the store — or anywhere. Plenty of companies are willing to negotiate to get your business.

Ash Exantus, financial empowerment coach at BankMobile, shares five ways you can negotiate for savings:

  1. Electronics: There are many ways you can save on electronics. If you go for the floor models or open box, you can negotiate a lower price. Anything the store is willing to put on sale is ripe for negotiation. An even more sophisticated approach: Figure out which version of a particular product the store is missing and use that information to negotiate a lower price. For example, If a store doesn’t carry a white digital camera, make it known that you would have preferred the camera in white and that by settling for a different color, you’re making a serious concession – one that should be reflected in how much you pay for it. Lastly look for stores that have price match guarantee (like BestBuy) and shop online for a cheaper price then use it to get the lower price.
  2. Medical Bills: Doctors deal with so many patients who don’t pay their bills so they would rather get something than nothing. Use Medicare pricing as a reference point. For example, a procedure that cost $1,800 with insurance may cost about $500 with Medicare.
  3. Airline Tickets: Many people believe that comparison shopping for airline tickets is the best way to get deals but in fact the old fashion way is your best bet. Buying your airline ticket through a travel agent will put you in the best space for negotiations. Since agents work on commission, they are more willing to give you your ticket at a big discount just to make that commission. Airline tickets have high margins so they know they’ll make up for it on their next sale.
  4. Parking Fines: Whether you’re wrong or not, many times if you challenge your fine you may get a reduced fine instead of paying the full price. It doesn’t work 100 percent of the time but it is worth the shot.
  5. Housing Cost: Landlords take a gamble when they take on a new tenant that’s why they usually ask for first month and last month rent as security. If you have the ability to pay more than two months upfront you can use that as a way to get them to lower your rent. For example, if they are looking for $3,000 a month for rent, you can negotiate them down to $2,800 per month simply by offering to give them 3 months in advance.