In these economic times, many are looking for ways to save a little money. One of the ways to do this is to haggle for a lower price. Whether you are looking for a better price on a car, to get a discount on travel, or you want to save a little extra on a pair of pants, you can haggle the price down — even at a department store. Here are four tips that can help you gain the upper hand when it comes to getting the best price:

  1. Be Polite: You can express your dissatisfaction in a price without being rude. Whether you are pointing out that a product has not met your needs, or whether you feel that you can get a better price elsewhere, you can still behave civilly.
  2. Ask for a Lower Price: You might try just asking. Some stores have policies that allow salespeople to off 10% to 15% off when you ask. You can also agree to take a display model (I once got an extra 15% off a sale griddle by taking the display — and it works great).
  3. Employ Silence: Many people are uncomfortable with silence. If you are in the process of bargaining, it can help to let some time elapse before you answer the last offer. Sometimes, a little silence can prompt another offer, saving you money, without you having to say anything. Wait 15 to 30 seconds. That time can seem like an eternity. And a salesperson, worried that you might go elsewhere, may make another offer.
  4. Ask for a Throw-In: Maybe you can’t get a lower price, but you might be able to get something for free. When my husband and I bought a washer and dryer set, we bargained down to a price that was still a little higher than we wanted to pay. But, rather than scuttle the deal, we asked for free delivery and installation (we do not have a vehicle that can haul furniture) — something that normally cost $75. We also got the delivery and set up fee waived on a couch we bought. Sometimes a throw-in can be just as valuable as saving a few extra bucks.