You can negotiate prices on common expenses more often than you think. Check out these 5 ways to negotiate lower bills.
Did you know that many bills are negotiable? I happen to live in a world where I believe that most things have a little wiggle room even if it may not seem that way. You may see an advertised price, but depending on the industry you are trying to negotiate with you may be able to get it even lower because there is a lot of competition. Here are some ways to negotiate lower bills simply by using some haggling skills.
5 ways to Negotiate Lower Bills
Know what bills are likely to be able to be negotiated on – There are certain bills that you likely won’t be able to negotiate such as your rent (although I have had luck with some private landlords in exchange for work) or mortgage. This doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate things like car insurance, cable and internet service, cell phone bills, and even credit card rates and minimum payments.
Do your homework on competitors – Before you try to negotiate your bills make sure you do your research on the industry's competitors. Are there lower prices somewhere else but you don’t like that company’s service and want to stay with your current one? Knowing prices and perks offered by other service providers in your area can really help you in your haggling. Be prepared to provide these if you are asked for them.
Find your angle – Another thing to consider before you go to try to negotiate is to figure out your angle so you can work it. For instance, maybe one cell phone provider is offering more data for a lower price and you need more data but prefer to stay with your current provider for reliability and convenience. This can be an angle for you. One other angle I like to use is my timely payments in the past and longevity with a company.
Always be friendly, but stick to what you want and make sure you are talking to the right person – You will not get any help negotiating if you come at the person aggressively or come at the wrong person to start with. Before you try to negotiate, make sure you ask if the person has the authority to make changes to your account. If they don’t, ask to speak to the department or person that does. These are often called retention departments. If you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere, it’s OK to end the call and try back at a different time or day. Above all, stay friendly and light-hearted and let the person feel like they can help you.
Start high and give yourself some wiggle room – One rule of any kind of haggling is to start with a lot of wiggle room. Don’t immediately go in for your bottom line. Let’s say you want a bill that is 10% less than what you are currently paying with a couple of extra perks. Start at 20% less and then work your way down to what you want. If they take your first offer, that's even better!