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Haggling 101: How To Negotiate With Big Retailers

PALOS VERDES ( — An expert is offering consumers advice on how to get discounted prices at big-name stores.

Full-time mom Lori Gardner, of Palos Verdes, says "no" to paying full-time prices.

"It's more rewarding if I've gotten it for less than the marketed price," Gardner said.

"If it's a floor model or something like that then I'll say, 'Oh, can I get 10 percent off?'" Gardner said. "As a mom of three, I feel like the kids have so many wants and needs, and I feel like if I'm spending full price then it gets so expensive."

With the uncertainty of the economy, Gardner is not alone. Many budget-conscience consumers are now more proactive in looking for a product, even if it means naming their own price for it.

"A lot of people still don't know that you could negotiate in a store," Joe Marrapodi said.

Marrapodi, the CEO and co-founder of, says it's not too hard to haggle with big retailers.

"There is an ability to get an even lower price if you just ask. You're saving time and money because you can just ask them and do it rather than going to another store and finding out what their price is," he said.

While "name-your-price" websites like offer consumers another means to haggle behind closed doors, Marrapodi says some retailers now have an open door policy on price negotiations.

"I know for a fact that you can walk into Nordstrom and get a price match. You can't just haggle openly and say, 'I need a better deal.' You have to actually show them a better price. Same thing with Bloomingdale's," Marrapodi said.

He added, "Clothing and shoes and those types of things have very high margins. You could save maybe 30, 40, 50 percent. Electronics are typically lower margin. You could save around 10 or 20 percent."

Tips on how to haggle:

  • Know Your Product

"You might start negotiating and then they might throw back a different product at you and then you don't know much about that product," Marrapodi said.

  • Know Pricing

"Find out what that lowest baseline product price is. And then typically take 10 or 20 percent off of that product price and use that as your baseline," Marrapodi said.

  • Don't Be Afraid To Ask

"They're not going to throw you out of the store just because you asked for a better price," Marrapodi said.

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