Negotiating Prices Online: How to Save Money on Your Purchases

  • 5 min read

In today’s digital marketplace, it’s easier than ever to compare prices and vendors on everything from televisions to hotel rooms. But it can be a challenge to get the best price on an item when you’re only dealing with a website and a set of posted prices. If you want to save money, the internet is not your friend when it comes to buying products. That doesn’t mean you should avoid online shopping – just that you need to be smart about how you negotiate prices and find deals. The more time you spend researching items, comparing brands, and reading sales ads, the more likely you are to get the best deal. Here are some tips for negotiating prices with vendors online:

Know The Rules Before You Start

There are some rules that apply to all online shopping, no matter what you’re buying. 

  • Know the return policy. When you’re buying items online, you may need to return or exchange them. Find out how much time you have to make a return, if you can exchange or refund, and if you’ll have to pay return shipping. 
  • Consider shipping costs. Many online vendors don’t include shipping costs in their posted prices, which means you’ll have to pay extra. Make sure you account for that when you’re estimating your final cost. 
  • Shop around. You’ll get the best price if you’re patient and can wait for the right moment to buy. You might miss out on a great deal if you’re in a rush and are willing to pay a higher price. 
  • Don’t forget about coupons. There are lots of online stores that offer coupons and sales on their merchandise. 
  • Get a gift card. If you’re shopping for a gift, you can often get a discount if you purchase a gift card instead of a physical item.

Negotiating Strategies

There are lots of strategies you can use when you’re bargaining on prices. You can try some or all of these when you’re negotiating with a vendor. 

  • Be patient. You don’t have to jump right in and start negotiating. Instead, wait a few days for the item to be delivered before you start your negotiations. This will make it seem like you’re not desperate for the item and will make the vendor more inclined to negotiate. 
  • Wait for an online sale. If you see an item you want that’s priced at full price, wait for a sale. If you see an item you want that’s priced higher than you want to pay, wait for a sale. Most online vendors will offer discounts at some point during the year – it just depends on the vendor. 
  • Negotiate an installed price. If you’re buying a large or expensive item, like a vehicle, you can sometimes negotiate an installed price. This is when the vendor will tell you the price they have in mind, but you have to install the item yourself. 
  • Negotiate repairs. If you’re buying an item that needs repairs or maintenance, try negotiating a lower price. The vendor may be willing to cut the price as a way to offset the cost of the repairs. 
  • Find the best deals. If you want to get a lower price, you may have to wait for the right deal. You can use a website like CamelCamelCamel to track the price of the item you want. When the price drops below what you were willing to pay, you can use that information to start the negotiating process.

Try Cashback Sites

If you’re shopping for electronics, appliances, or even groceries online, consider signing up for a cashback site like Ebates or TopCashBack. These sites have deals with thousands of different stores and will give you a percentage of your purchase back when you shop through their site. These can add up over time and amount to free money. 

  • If you’re buying electronics or appliances, you can usually get a larger percentage back than if you were buying groceries or other unrelated items. Electronics and appliances tend to cost more, so you may get a bigger percentage back on your purchase. 
  • If you have a store in mind and want to shop there but are worried about price, you can use the sites to see if the vendor offers a cashback offer. If they do, you’ll get that amount back instead of the percentage offered through the cashback sites.

Negotiate an Installed Price

If you’re planning to buy a car, furniture, appliances, or another major purchase, you can negotiate an installed price. This is when the vendor will give you a price for the item, but you have to install it yourself. 

  • This works best when you’re buying appliances; many places will offer an installed price that includes delivery and installation. The same is often true for furniture; you may be able to negotiate an installed price that includes delivery and assembly. 
  • You can also use this strategy when buying a vehicle. If you’re purchasing a used car, you may be able to negotiate an installed price that includes a state inspection and emissions test. 
  • When negotiating an installed price, you have more room to negotiate the price because you’re saving the vendor time and money by installing the item yourself.

Conclusion

When it comes to saving money on purchases, you’ll get the best deals by shopping around and waiting for the right time to buy. The internet makes it easy to compare prices between vendors and products, so there’s no reason to avoid online shopping. Negotiating is the key to saving money on your purchases. Whether you’re haggling with a vendor, waiting for a sale, or using a cashback site, there are lots of ways to save when you shop online.

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