6 Service Charges You Didn’t Know You Could Negotiate

negotiate banner

Long gone are the days of being able to haggle, barter and negotiate with others over the price of goods and services. For the most part, you only encounter these scenarios when traveling abroad or dealing one-on-one with a seller. We bargain-hunt for most of the goods we purchase, but we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we can’t negotiate. Or have we? You may not realize it, but there are actually a number of services and products that you can get at a reduced price, if you just know how to negotiate. We spoke with a couple of bargain hunters to get their insider tips. Here are six products and services to test your negotiating skills on.

Bedding and delivery

You might not think of this as negotiable, but Thomas Nitzsche, CFEd, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, assures it can be done. “Did you know you can negotiate on the cost of a new mattress and delivery at mattress retail stores? I was shocked when my roommate walked into one of these retail stores and offered them hundreds below the sticker price and they negotiated!”

Cable/Internet

“There are often hidden packages that the companies don’t promote and sometimes even bury deep in their websites hoping that people won’t find them,” Nitzsche points out. “When I needed to get home Internet, the cheapest deal I could find was $55/month, but when I spoke to the rep I was firm and asked for lower price (even if the Internet was a lower speed). I ended up getting a different package for $40/month. By threatening to leave cable providers for the competition, you can be offered lower rates as well.”

Real Estate Commissions

“In many states, real estate commissions for selling your investment property can cost up to six percent of the sales price,” Financial Advisor Richard Sturm, SturmFinancial.com, says. “Commissions are generally split between the selling agent and the purchasing agent. Real estate commissions are generally negotiable between you and your real estate agent. Investors selling real estate should ask for a reduced commission if the agent represents both sides of the transaction. Investors selling real estate should ask for a reduced commission if the agent is handling multiple transactions for you, like the sale of one property and the purchase of another. Commissions should remain appealing enough to attract agents to show your property to potential buyers.”

Medical services

“You might be able to negotiate the costs upfront and/or after the fact,” Nitzsche explains. “I recently received an unexpected $800 bill for bloodwork, and talked them down to $500 in one phone call. In another case I applied for financial aid and received a 60% reduction of a large hospital bill.”

Travel

“Never assume that a ‘sale’ or discount site is the cheapest way to book flights, hotels and cars,” Nitzsche asserts. “Consider bidding on Priceline’s Name Your Own Price feature with the help of information on various forums to help you negotiate that cost and get the cheapest possible winning bid.”

Investment Management Fees

“Many investors choose to have their portfolios managed for a fee rather than a per transaction commission,” Sturm says. “Investment Management Fees can range between .75 percent for larger accounts with investable assets over $1 million, to 2.75 percent for smaller accounts with assets under $100,000. Management fees are generally negotiable between you and your investment adviser and are often determined by the services your adviser will provide. If your portfolio includes your favorite investment that you never intend to sell, ask your adviser to exclude that holding from his fees. It never hurts to ask.”

Comments