Men enjoyed haggling slightly more than women did, but women were equally effective when they tried to bargain.
Consumer Reports' survey found that furniture shoppers saved a lot, $300 on average. Doctor and dentist bills also came down $300 when people negotiated, though fewer people tried. And people who haggled for appliances saved an average of $200. Those who haggled over bank and credit-card fees saved an average of $100.
The survey revealed that the most popular tactic consumers used to get a discount was to simply tell the salesperson that they're going to check a competitor's prices.
Consumer Reports also says to research a fair price before you negotiate. The only way you find out what's a fair price is to check online forums, to check fliers, or compare Web and in-store prices.
And Consumer Reports says it pays to be polite. Remember, you can catch more flies, and discounts, with honey than you can with vinegar!
More tips on negotiating a discount: