I'm a reporter working on a story about negotiating prices in retail stores. I'm interested in speaking with buyers who have demanded discounts and gotten them in a major retail stores. I am on deadline and would like to speak to any successful negotiators as soon as possible. I can be reached at Sarah.Collins@wsj.com or at 917-510-2810.
Are we talking about true negotiation? Jewelry in major chain stores are overpriced so highly that when they go on "sale" or when someone "negotiates" a price, it's still way above what the item should cost anyway.
IMO, it's not true negotiating unless you know exactly what you're dealing with, like Iceman said.
For example, there are two types of people who buy cars. Ones who learn everything about the car including all of the invoice prices, and ones who don't. Both people likely "negotiate" a car price. The second guy will negotiate down from MSRP and think that he got a great deal and that he did a fantastic job of negotiating. The first guy will negotiate up from invoice cost. He is much more likely to get a better deal. But both have negotiated.
What I'm saying is that unless you are really knowledgeable about whatever it is that you're buying, I honestly don't believe that negotiation in a major retail store is going to truly get you a good deal. For one thing, most stores offer 15-20% employee discounts. Negotiating something down to 50% off the sticker price does not mean that you've pulled one over on the store and have gotten the deal of a lifetime.
That said, if you are shopping at major retailers anyway, it never hurts to ask for a discount. You're likely to get it.
Wouldn't it be nice if when you saw a price tag and that is what everyone paid? I am proud to say that is what happens at our store! We mark our items fairly and our customers receive great value. "Feel good discounts" have ruined customers perception of value, how can a store take 50% off and item in the blink of an eye? (but it happens every day). When customers come in our door and they ask for a discount I just tell them that we don't mark up the product to mark it down and they respect that. I would urge every other jeweler and retailer to sell quality and good value rather than selling discounts.
Warranties, service agreements, and guarantees are 100% profit for the stores. That's why they push them. Also, since stores stopped paying salespeople on commission, what they get paid for is not what they sell but how many warranties they sell. Same thing with how many credit card accounts they open up. They have quotas and have to sell these, so that's why they push them so hard.
I agree with Maxwell and Iceman. The price is the price. If you don't think it's fair, there's the door.
The problem with negotiation is that it makes the customer feel like they are getting a good deal when in reality, most of the time they are not.