Walk Away With the Best Deal

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By Laura Patrecca
From Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

You likely negotiated the price of your house. But don’t stop there. You can negotiate home services, repairs, and appliances using these tips.

TV and Internet Bills

Start by getting prices from a few competing cable and internet companies. A reliable resource for getting internet prices is BroadbandNow.com, says Ben Kurland of Experian Consumer Services.

Jot down the quotes you receive and write out the key points you want to make to your provider. When you talk with customer service representatives, they’ll have a script. You can use the same tactic by having your talking points at the ready.

Contact your provider by phone instead of by email or online chat. Once connected, press the prompt to cancel your service. “You’ll likely be transferred to the retention agent or an escalation agent,” Kurland says. “Their whole job is to give you a discount to keep you as a loyal customer.”

Once you get an agent on the phone, be cordial. Don’t agree to the agent’s first offer—there’s usually room for more concessions.

Although you can get cash savings, providers are more inclined to offer service enhancements, such as faster internet speed or additional TV channels. If that suits your needs, focus on getting the most benefits that you can.

Home Renovations and Repairs

Contractor prices vary widely for the same service, so your best bet is to get three to five quotes, says Kevin Brasler, executive editor at Consumers’ Checkbook.

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Provide candidates with specifics on your project, giving details on what you need and your time frame. Let each potential contractor know you are soliciting multiple offers and looking for the best price.

A higher quote doesn’t automatically mean better-quality service, and a lower price doesn’t necessarily indicate shoddy work. Whomever you choose should be licensed and insured and have positive online reviews or references.

You can also offer perks in exchange for a lower price, such as putting down a larger deposit than required. Or you could give workers extra time to get the job done or pay in cash, allowing the provider to avoid credit card processing fees.

Major Appliances

Start the negotiation process with some research. Once you pick the models that interest you, e-mail or call sales managers at local stores. “Say, ‘I’m shopping around and contacting other stores. I’m asking them to give me their best price, and they only have one chance. I’m going to buy from the one that offers me the lowest price,’” says Brasler.

Although it can’t hurt to haggle at national chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, independent stores often have more flexibility on price. A Consumer Reports survey found that among the people who tried to get a better deal at an independent retailer, 64 percent were successful.

Also, expand your negotiations beyond price. Ask for free delivery, installation, or removal of your old appliance if those services are not already included.

(Laura Patrecca is a contributing writer at Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine. For more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.)
©2023 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The Epoch Times copyright © 2023. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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