7 Things You Didn’t Know Were Negotiable

Have you ever looked at a bill or maybe even just an item in a store and thought “I wish this didn't cost so much”?

Good news! It doesn't have to! As my grandfather says, everything has a price, but most things are negotiable. While you might know certain things (like car prices at the dealership) can be talked down price-wise, you may not have known that other things are also negotiable. Here, we've compiled seven things you may not have realized you could negotiate the cost of.

    1. Rent and Mortgage Costs

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      If your area is anything like mine, rent can be almost astronomical unless you rent a studio apartment. When you have children, a studio is not only not ideal, but also not a possibility. The cost for a two bedroom apartment can often be well over $1,000 – out of price range for many families. That said, there are a few ways you can negotiate the price down:

      • Offer to pay several months in advance
      • Sign an extended lease
      • No car? Give up your parking space for a lower rate.

      Have a mortgage instead of a rent payment? You may be able to negotiate your closing costs for a better deal!

    2. Professional Services

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      While it's a poorly kept secret that many services such as home repair are often negotiable, many other professional services may be as well. Your ability to negotiate a price may depend on your area, the type of service provided, and such things as your credit, but it never hurts to ask. Services most likely to be open to negotiation are such things as medical bills, IT services, and car repair.

    3. Credit Card Rates

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      Credit cards may be a life saver and a great way to build up credit, but rates and fees might break you. So long as you're in good standing with your credit card company, however, you may be able to talk them into lower rates. You'll need to make sure you are polite yet firm and explain that you, a loyal customer, are having issues paying your bill and will have to go to a different company unless this one can offer you a better rate.

    4. Retailers

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      Yes, you read that right: retailers may also be able to give you a discounted price if you're willing to haggle over it with them. Electronics, furniture, groceries, and much more can be had at a lower price if you know how to properly go about it. In order to negotiate the prices of retail items in a store, you'll want to look at such things as

      • Price matching – can you get it for a lower price at a competitor store? Store A might give it to you at Store B's price just to keep your business.
      • Dents, scratches, scuffs, etc. – damaged items can often be talked down in price.
      • Buy in bulk – many stores will offer a discount when you buy more than one of an item.
      • Ask to speak to someone higher up – if your salesperson says they cannot lower the price, ask for their manager to see if they will.
    5. Tuition

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      Going back to class? Sending little Tommy off to college and dreading the bill?

      Good news (again)! Many colleges are open to negotiating tuition costs. You don't have to do anything special to get a dialogue about the costs going, either. Just be prepared:

      • Emphasize yourself as an asset to the school. Use your grades, extra curricular activities, achievements, and any other positive attributes you can think of.
      • Treat the discussion similarly to a job interview. Dress appropriately, remain polite, schedule a sit down, and be professional.
      • Don't be afraid to discuss any hardships or special circumstances which may play into your getting a discounted price.
    6. Employment Perks

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      In an economy and society where jobs are often treated as a “Be thankful you have one” thing, many people simply sign on the dotted line without asking about benefits. Some employers advertise benefits such as health care, vacation pay, and family leave, but other perks of employment may be available if you just ask. Depending on your employment, you may be able to negotiate things like flextime, shorter work week, where you work from (i.e, home or office), and even your job title.

    7. Tires

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      This one might not seem as potentially life-altering as some of the other things on our list, but I speak from experience when I say it is definitely worth trying. Should you find yourself in need of new tires and on a budget, remember to try negotiating the price, and keep a few simple things in mind:

      • Don't take the first offer
      • Ask for a quote for all four tires rather than an individual one.
      • Say no to any extras offered by the tire shop

You may not always get the price you want, but you can get a better price if you try. It definitely doesn't hurt to ask, at least. I hope you find this list helpful. Let us know what you think in the comments below and don't forget to share.

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