Negotiate a Lower Bill for Everything From Dry Cleaning to Hotel Rooms
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Stocksy_txp376e3ed2u57100_Small_86421High-End Jewelry

Timing is everything when you’re buying bling: Since the holidays and Valentine’s Day trigger shopping sprees, spring and summer tend to be ideal for wheeling and dealing.

Once you’re in the store, try saying, “I see this necklace is on sale. Can you do any better on the price?” or “I like this setting, but what can we do to put it in my price range?” The salesperson’s reaction will show you how invested he is in making a deal, Swindling says.

Stores might also cut you a deal in exchange for your old arm candy. How much depends on the piece’s purity and quality (will they melt it down, or is it an antique or designer item they can resell?). Or they could repurpose your old jewelry to create a new custom piece. Swindling’ once saved money by asking a jeweler to use a diamond she received for her 16th birthday to make an anniversary ring.

But the most effective technique is a trusted customer referral. Ask your connection to call the jeweler and make a soft introduction by saying, “A friend of mine is coming in, and she doesn’t have a huge budget—is there anything you can do to help her out? Perhaps there’s a friends and family discount?”

Dry Cleaning

Who knew you could haggle your way to a better deal—or at least a few perks—at the cleaners? First, establish a friendly relationship with the owner. Then, once you’ve become a regular customer, it’s easier to ask about perks like free laundry pickups or complimentary tailoring for simple jobs like hemming and replacing buttons, Swindling suggests.

Rent

“Your ability to negotiate is somewhat dependent upon your leverage,” says Latz. For example, if the property has been vacant for months with no nibbles, and you’re currently renting a decent place, you’ve got the upper hand.

“If they won’t drop the price, suggest one month for free,” Latz says. “You could also offer to have electronic payments automatically transferred every month, which reduces the landlord’s likelihood of having to hound you for a check. They might give you a 2 to 3 percent discount.”

Love your current living situation? Try to negotiate between leases. To avoid the hassle of advertising the apartment to new tenants, your landlord might agree to a couple weeks of free rent or to invest in property improvements.

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