Monday, February 2, 2009

Haggling, Updated (and a Giveaway!)

Scary Mommy, OHMommy, A Southern Fairy Tale and I are doing our first ever joint giveaway and it's a doozy! Check out the EZ to Read and Understand Rulez here! Go and read so that you don't fuck it up.

In honor of the giveway, I am recycling, and updating with new annotations(!), my haggling post from last year. Because that's the green thing to do.

This is how New York Magazine suggests you go about haggling, and I'm throwing in my annotations, absolutely free of charge!

1. Don’t be ashamed. You can haggle anywhere, anytime—even at the doctor’s office.

Why not haggle when you get on a bus? If the driver insists that you pay the full fare, try to extract something from him in a "swap", like a cigarette or a loose button.

2. Stay cool.
Haggling is about bluffing; if you show weakness or nerves, the salesperson will know you’re going to fold.

Throw an ice cube down your pants before entering the store. An ice cube that you haggled out of an unsuspecting vendor.

3. Be prepared to leave empty-handed.
If you must have an item, you’ll accept a higher price. Often, walking away will get the absolute lowest offer.

Leaving empty-handed is the ultimate money saver, I've found.

4. Use charm.
Haggling is a personal interaction. If you make the sales clerk complicit in the game, he’ll be more willing to play.

I don't like how this discriminates against the charm-free.

5. Pay cash.
The seller will usually knock off the sales tax, or more. But carry small bills.

I am keeping my original annotation for this, which is that I think this is called "tax evasion". Stay tuned for New York Magazine's next feature-- "Plea Bargaining Tips".

6. Do market research.
Almost everyone price-matches these days.

Also, feel free to lie about what your market research reveals. It's not like you're given sworn testimony.

7. Read the sales tags.
Brazen hagglers will rifle through a rack in search of the one item that’s mispriced low, then demand the store honor the tag.

Regardless of whether they actually want the item or not.

8. Ask when it goes on sale.
The clerk might offer to put it aside for you. Or, if you ask to be called come sale time, it could be marked down then and there, just for you.

When you find out that it goes on sale in a week, offer to chain yourself to the rack until then. And I hope that I don't have to spell out what I mean by "rack".

Don't forget about the giveaway! Leave a comment and then visit A Southern Fairy Tale, Scary Mommy and OHMommy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I'd like to enter the contest!

February 2, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Domestic Extraordinaire said...

very excited about this contest & about discovering your blog. I will be back :O)

February 2, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Ann's Rants said...

Yes, I agree...what about the charm-less. Great giveaway!

February 2, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Thanks for the tips!

February 2, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Joanie said...

Terrific tips!

February 2, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Swistle said...

Oh hai! I am entering.

February 2, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I suck at haggling because I can never stay cool (#2). I get nervous and smile and a lot and probably even end up paying more than the asking price because I'm so antsy.

February 2, 2009 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Doublebanker said...

Can I haggle my way into this giveaway? I'll give you 4 comments and a link back for the win :)

Cats walk on water?

February 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

Thanks for the tips. My children are always complaining that I don't know the difference between haggling and blackmail.

February 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Irish Gumbo said...

Awesome, practical and amusing tips! Thank you, Marinka!

BTW, what did you mean by 'rack'? What am I not getting? :)

February 2, 2009 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger VerWaynia said...

I could definitely use a new wardrobe and I love to haggle!

February 2, 2009 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Ha! I started reading your blog right around the time you posted this last year.... ah, the memories!

I still think that was a ridiculous article. Seriously, haggling at Saks?

February 2, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I have the added bonus of knowing exactly what facial expressions you probably made while answering those questions! Which makes it even funnier.

February 2, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Julie B. said...

That's great! I love #5...before I even read your comment I was thinking the samet thing to myself...I can't believe they printed that:) (and please enter me)

February 2, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Tari said...

Please please give a small town girl a chance to live big!!! Let me dress like a grown up!!!!

February 2, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

I never haggle, but my Hubster is a haggling-whore when it comes to buying electronics. He gets some great deals!

February 2, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Amy - said...

I am far too chicken to haggle and not above asking my husband to haggle for me, so I will be sure to pass along these tips to him!

February 2, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

entering contest....NOW

February 2, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

Oh Marinka, you give the best advice! I am so inspired by your ever present sense of savoir faire. If only I could be more like you!
Have a great day! Your deserve the best!

February 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Blessings From Above said...

Found you through OHMommy. Very cool contest!

Great haggling tips, your added antedotes are hilarious! :)

February 2, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I'm in I'm in I'm in!!!!! Pick me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and I just chained myself to my rack. Great. I wish I had read on.

February 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger ♥georgie♥ said...

LOL...too funny...I have been tryin to 'haggle' not sawyer for years no one wants him ;-)

February 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Krissi said...

I cannot wait to win this contest! I never win anything and well this one... it has my name all over it :)

February 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Hailey said...

I can't wait to see who the winner of this contest is!!! I'm so excited!!

February 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

not to be a stickler for details, but i just clicked over to your "rulez" pozt (is z the new s?) for your contest, and the post is dated thurs., jan. 31, 2008. does that mean the prize a time machine?

February 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger koopermom said...

I am too chicken to haggle!! Great giveaway, can't wait to get to know you all better!

February 2, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...the whole haggle with the doctor thing is blowing my mind.

Do you haggle before you see the doctor or after... because before see a bad idea. Might get what you pay for if you know what I mean.

February 2, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Heinous said...

I can't bring myself to haggle. It seems like so much effort. I'd have to hire someone to do it for me, but that would be counter productive, I think.

February 2, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

Tell you what, you come over here, try haggling with one of our bus drivers.

Let me know how it goes.

February 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Alecia said...

i'm so happy you guys are hosting a joint giveaway i could use a shopping spree.

February 2, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Blue said...

so let's get it many joints are you giving away? oh wait, maybe that's not what you meant.

February 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

I want to WIN!!!!!!!

February 2, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I hope I win!!


February 2, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Mary Moore said...

I want to win! I want to win!

My husband is the best haggler I know. He was well known in Mexico for his haggling, and all the vendors would hide. :o)

February 2, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

The most incredible amount of haggling I've ever seen done was at the open air markets in Beijing. My traveling companions would heatedly argue knock of Calvin Klein men's breifs down from the equivalent of $2 to $1.50. No one could understand why I was so willing to give up at $2. I mean - in about 10 minutes of haggling, I could save myself FIFTY WHOLE CENTS. I have no excuse for my attitude other than laziness, disinterest and oh yeah a GRIP ON REALITY!

February 2, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger kelly b said...

i wanna be the winner, i wanna be the winner! ooohhh ooohhh!!!!!! pick me. pick me.

February 2, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

I haggle once in a while.

February 2, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger PsychMamma said...

I'm horrible at haggling, so I'm always prepared for number three. The good news is that I save a lot of money that way. :-)

Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter!

February 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Renny said...

I think you guys are great! Here is my hoping I win!!!

February 2, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Ohhh...pick me, pick me!!

February 2, 2009 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Simply AnonyMom said...

what a great giveaway you are participating in. THank you.

February 2, 2009 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Awesome contest!! I hope to win...I could really use an updated look!

February 2, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

count me in for the giveaway...

February 2, 2009 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

OMG, my husband is the KING of haggling. He tries to haggle EVERYthing. Just this weekend he got 10% off at Lowes because he found the one item that had some blue staining on it. Although I appreciate the deals he gets, sometimes I want to run away and act like I don't know him!!!!

February 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger phd in yogurtry said...

These are all good, but I suppose I will have to leave my house and actually shop to see if they work, huh?

February 2, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Nissa said...

#3 is one of my faves...because don't you know that 30% off still equals 70% on?

February 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Payton said...

Too funny =)
Although as a former cashier, I can tell you -- it's not appreciated. Especially you charm-less people, taking all the fun out of it.

February 2, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Alex and Ashley said...

If I ever tried to haggle I would end up crying and probably be banned from the place! But somehow my kids haggle me and usually win...

February 2, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

Love cards. Yes...


February 2, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Thank you for the annotation on #4. As a charm-challenged person, I find I am often discriminated against (and rarely get any sympathy because, let's face it, who gives a shit about the charm-impaired?).

February 2, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger skiplovey said...

#8 hee hee.

Love the giveaway idea, truly fabulous!

February 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Shel said...

Oh my God...I love your blog because you say fuck. Am I allowed to leave that word in the comments? I've been deathly afraid of dropped an F-bomb on my blog for fear of offending someone although if you met me in real life, you'd wonder why my children don't pepper every sentence they utter with it. I thought there was some written rule about mom-blogs and the f-word, so I haven't actually typed it out for fear the mom-blog-police would come and take away my keyboard.

That being said, I'm a horrible haggler but my grandmother is the queen of the haggle..I once watched her beat a sales clerk into giving her a discount on a lawnmower because the one she really wanted was sold out and the one she was getting was a floor model. I'm planning on taking her 86 year-old ass with me when I go to buy a new car.

February 2, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger TMCPhoto said...

I've never been able to haggle properly. the one and only time I managed it, I talked them down to the price they had originally told my husband was their lowest.

February 2, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I can't haggle at all - in fact I think I end up paying higher prices.

February 2, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Coffee with Cathy said...

I will never feel guilty about recycling an old blogging post or column again. I never saw the "green" connection until you pointed it out. Thank you!

February 2, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Momo Fali said...

I really have to try that leaving empty handed thing.

February 2, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger CelticBuffy said...

The contest sounds great! And I have never been able to open my mouth and haggle. It's something I need to learn.

February 2, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

So excited about the contest! And about trying out these new haggling techniques haha

February 2, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Herb of Grace said...

My grandmother was the queen of hagglers, back in the day... I like to think I inherited some of her spirit :)

February 2, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger The Mom said...

I need a new wardrobe before Stacy and Clinton come and take me away!...Well, that wouldn't be bad either! ;) Thanks for the chance!

February 2, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger The Thompson's said...

Sign me up!

February 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Qweenie said...

I love to haggle! We haven't paid asking price for a car or house in 10 years...LOL

Please enter me in the giveaway too please!!PLEASE!

February 2, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I make my husband to the haggling for me, although I imagine him haggling over the price of a pair of panties might not go over so well.

February 2, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the contest! I hope I win. Love the picture on your blog of the snow and carriage. I love ohmommy and now I have some new blogs to check out.

February 2, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger The White House said...

I am excited to get out of these maternity clothes and into some new lovely clothes courtesy of YOU!

February 2, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger The White House said...

I am excited to get out of these maternity clothes and into some new lovely clothes courtesy of YOU!

February 2, 2009 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Love the shopping idea and love adding a new read to my morning coffee routine :)

February 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Your side note on #3 is the best! What a money saving idea - LOL.

February 2, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Um sorry I don't haggle. I'm horrible at it and I feel like a total ass when I do it. On the other hand I am always up for a contest!

Good luck everyone!

February 2, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

This is my Monday comment. I don't ever read Marinka's blog, I am only here because I want to win.

February 2, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Ugh. Can't haggle. That's why spouse buys the cars.

Oh, and I need those gift cards, btw...because my fat ass isn't so fat anymore and I need new clothes!

February 2, 2009 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Miss M said...

I need, I mean want to win your giveaway. Delurking to win :)

February 2, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger The Dental Maven said...

Count me in.

February 2, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger heartatpreschool said...

I'll recycle my comment to this post too...

My husband will never let me forget the time I paid full price $5 US dollars for a stupid Christmas ornament at a Mexican flea market.

February 2, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Mindi said...

So excited about your contest.... do lame comments hurt my chances of winning? I always want to say something cleaver, but it ends up lame...

February 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Anonymous mom2tot said...

I want to win!

February 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I am DETERMINED to win this awesome prize!

February 2, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

What an awesome contest!

February 2, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger stephanie s. said...

I like this post!

February 2, 2009 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'd like to enter, please!

February 2, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger darsden said...

Ooooh I love contest...sssh don't tell anybody else..Pick Me!!

February 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Rosie&James said...

I can see it now "$10,000 for open heart surgery? You must be crazy! $250 and a gift card to Starbucks, that's my final offer."

February 2, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Anonymous peapodsquadmom said...

count me in!

February 2, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of racks, can I get some tips on haggling for a new one? My knees can't see anything these days.

I realize you thoroughly explained the giveaway in great detail with an excellent and informative faq section, however, I have yet another question. Please don't shoot me if you've already answered it and I missed it. I take it that your comments are closed at the end of each day???

February 2, 2009 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Stores will actually call you to alert you when the item is on sale? I had no idea. No way they'd do that in Europe! They already roll their eyes when you return something - because God forbid you change your mind about a pricey item you realize you don't need, right? So obnoxious.

I dare you to come visit when I move back to Switzerland and haggle with the store clerks in Zurich ;-)

February 2, 2009 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

See, I don't know about this haggling thing. My mom is really good at it, so that would make me like her. I don't like the sound of that. Bue I do like the sound of 10% more off at Loehmans.
Fine, I'm in.

p.s. I'm a Scary Mommy devotee, it makes me a better person and calories don't stick.

Scott in Tennessee

February 2, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for this awesome giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!

February 2, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger iMommy said...

Haggling is hard. How bought I just shop at Old Navy and we call it even?

February 2, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

what a great contest you ladies are doing please count me in.

February 2, 2009 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger C and C Mommy said...

I want to win!! PLEASE!!

February 2, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger jill jill bo bill said...

I haggle like no other. And I found you through Vodka Mom. You are hilarious. Enter me in the contest and I swear I will stop kissing ass. Only of you want tho.

February 2, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous aimee said...

Pick me!!

February 2, 2009 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...


February 2, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

Thanks for the haggling tips! I like #6.

Please enter me in your very generous giveaway too! : )

February 2, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Oh great tips, but even better contest! Enter me!

February 2, 2009 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger TheScrappyMama said...

Please pick me! I am in desperate need of wardrobe help.

Love your blog!

February 2, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger MIT Mommy said...

Alright, I'm playing.

February 2, 2009 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Kris Loves Chocolate said...

I am not a good haggler, however, for #1 I did beg and get on a bus for free in Mexico when I spent all my money at a market and realized I had no bus fair back to the resort.
Hope I win.

February 2, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger beck'sthree said...

Does all that haggling make one an old hag?

February 2, 2009 at 11:35 PM  
Anonymous P.K. said...

OK, I'm not the least bit interested in haggling. Furthermore, I'm not interested in your contest because the only one of those places in my hick town is Starbucks, and guess what? I don't even like coffee!

This announcement, though, should make me very popular with the rest of your readers!

February 2, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Lee the MWOB Queen said...

I don't even have to enter the contest. My reward has already come to me in the form of these haggling tips with your funny commentary.

Plus the rules of your contest did scare me and I'm generally afraid to play.

(I hope you know I'm kidding and that you consider this a friggin' entry.)

Funny stuff here - first time and I may be hooked. We'll see.

February 2, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

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