7 ways to haggle for the best bargain
Do your research before you go
"By knowing prices before you go into a store, you don't need to haggle," says Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at auto website Edmunds.com.
Look for comparable prices by reading Consumer Reports, searching online websites such as Google Shopping and PriceGrabber.com, checking newspaper ads and browsing at stores beforehand.
Bring physical evidence with you, Reed says. If you go into an electronics retailer and show a printout of an online ad featuring a digital camera for a lower price, with no tax or shipping, the store may be more willing to make a deal. If the salesperson can only drop an item to a certain price, he or she may be more willing to throw in free or discounted accessories for a lower overall price.
And use the "shop local" angle to your advantage, Reed says. "Say you find the lowest price on a product but it's at the mall across town. Go to a local store and say, 'I found this cheaper elsewhere but I don't want to spend half the day in my car in traffic. I want to shop local and I like your store. Can you give me a discount?'"