When it comes to bargaining, this is typically not a part of American culture and the thought of it can make people uncomfortable. It pays off if you can manage to get over your initial discomfort, however, as you may be surprised to learn that a little haggling can get you a better deal on almost any major purchase - and even a few minor ones, as well.
Wait until your cell phone contract is just about to run out before you contact your provider - or respond to any of the offers they may be making you. Call the company just a few weeks before your contract is up, and ask the representative what the very best deal they have to offer you is - tell them you've been thinking of switching to a competitor to get a free phone, more minutes, etc., but that you've been happy with their service so you'll consider renewing your contract if they'll make it worth your while. No company wants to lose a good customer, and you may be surprised as the great deals that will suddenly materialize if you're prepared to wait.
Call your credit card company and ask them if they can give you a better rate, Again, tell them that you have an offer from a competitor to give you a lower rate, and see if they'll be prepared to cut you a deal to keep you (and your revolving debt) in-house.
Schedule a salon appointment for a slow day like a Monday or Tuesday. Ask the salon owner if you can have a price break for bringing your business on these typically under-scheduled days. This is likely to work best for you if you are a regular customer.
Cut or print out ads for deals you've seen on major appliances, electronics, or other expensive items. If you prefer to buy from a retailer other than the lowest-priced one because your preferred vendor is closer, you have an account there, or the customer service is better, you may still be able to get them to lower their price on the particular item you wish to purchase to the rock-bottom price offered by the other guys.
Ask for free delivery when you're purchasing a large item of furniture. If you do not need free delivery, you can ask for a discount instead. If the floor salesperson is unable to offer you a deal, ask to speak to the manager, and be sure to leave your contact information so they can get in touch with you should they decide they are willing to do a little dealing in order to clinch a big sale.
Don't just make up your facts - if you tell a company that competitors are offering better deals, be prepared to supply names and numbers.
Bargaining doesn't work nearly as well with e-tailers as it does at brick and mortar retail establishments.