The research finds that far more things are negotiable than most imagine. Indeed, even though the economy is picking up, I've found that haggling is still very, very possible.
Indeed, my basic rule is that you can barter or haggle for just about anything. In today's world, where the notion of job security has become a farce, haggling provides another means for some setting aside some "f--k you money."
But it's still amazing how few are willing to haggle. A few months ago I was conversing with a woman whose kids had rented a home, they thought, in one of the top school districts. When they found they were on the wrong side of the street, they decided they'd have to take their lumps and stay there. Although I suggested otherwise, she wanted nothing to do with it, nor did she believe her kids would be willing to renegotiate or haggle to move across the street into the best school district.
Consumer naivete keeps most people from doing what sophisticated businesses do every day: "if you'll do this, I'll do that." Or, "I'm really interested in that TV set, but not at that price. I do, however, have some other products I'm looking at, so lets create some kind of a deal. Here's what I suggest."
A few years ago, Negotiation, the monthly newsletter put out by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, did a fascinating series on the science and art of haggling...