Thanks to Buyer Analytics, I came across this story in The New York Times which suggests that you really can negotiate everything. Among other sources, the article cites a Consumer Reports report from November that "surveyed 2,167 people and found that 90 percent of those who haggled over furniture, electronics, appliances and even medical bills had received a lower price on at least one purchase in the last three years." For a culture that basically lives in a fixed price environment (except, as the article points out, cars and houses), that's not a bad number.
As someone who actually looks forward to negotiations and walking away from deals that don't work out, I thought I'd share some of the personal / business items that I've been able to save money on (and the amounts) in the past year through aggressively negotiating: cell phone(s) + service ($250 negotiation success), car ($7000 off of the sticker for a Honda Odyssey), payroll service (50%), and last but not least, our guest parking spot at the office (10%). Of course, as the article points out, it's also possible to take your procurement life home and negotiate other things such as credit card dates, oil delivery, hotel rooms, and gym memberships. But why stop there? One of the great things I love about going to a place like China or India is that it reminds me that life is really a constant negotiation. And you should never feel bad about pushing back on price.
- Jason Busch