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Noting that retailers are "desperate for sales and customer loyalty" this holiday season, the New York Times saysBest Buy, Home Depot, Lowe's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and more are making it easier for their employees to haggle with customers. The article reports, in short, that retailers are training their employees to be more accommodating in order compete with online stores like Amazon, and now more than ever, politeness and a little webrooming will go a long way. Below, find several dos and don'ts that the paper gleaned from shopping experts.
DO ask for a discount. Virginia Morris, vice president for consumer strategy and insights at Daymon Worldwide, a consulting firm, told the paper that the discounts generally must be "consumer-initiated." Many stores don't advertise things like price-matching, small percentages off, or free delivery and installation.
DON'T be this guy, Wal-Mart uber-fan and general terror. The offer has to be reasonable and the customer should be polite.
DO be willing to walk out the door. Alison Kenny Paul, vice chairwoman and leader of United States retail and distribution at Deloitte, said that in addition to floor managers, regular employees are being coached on how to recognize customers that are willing to negotiate and who are prepared to leave.
DON'T ignore the online chat option. Kyle James of Redding, Calif., who writes a blog about personal finance and frugal living, told the NYT that Nine times out of 10 [online customer support has] coupons sitting at their desk to give to you." A simple, Do you have a free-shipping coupon or another discount? is sufficient in many cases.
· More Retailers See Haggling as a Price of Doing Business [New York Times]
· Wal-Mart UberFan Banned For Good Reasons, Actually [Racked]