Make a Surprise Deal

Windshield Chip

Commercials have a habit of being right about stuff; if you don’t care for that chip in your windshield, one day (Tuesday in my case) it’s going to develop into a crack.

Now I have this crack in my windshield and my wife starts calling for quotes. 2003 Dodge Caravan full windshield replacement and the prices range from about $310 to $360. She gets bored of the process pretty fast as each time she has to answer the same questions: Is it a heated windshield? Does it have a red strip along the bottom? Are there black dots around the rearview mirror?

Finally, on the last place she calls she gets quite a quote of $330. She is so defeated at this point she decides to mention the other lower prices. The associate on the phone asks her to wait a moment and puts her on hold. Coming back a few seconds later he says he can do the whole thing, taxes in, for $283.

Windshields aren’t something I thought could be negotiated but after looking around online I have read it’s actually an excellent idea to try and price beat on car parts like windshields and tires.

It seems there is a whole market of things you can negotiate on I never thought of. Try it on jewelry, gym memberships, fresh food markets and search the web for other ideas. Try it at stores you never expected you could haggle in like Best Buy, Sears, and other big box retailers.

A few tips on making this work:

Pay in cash to save the merchant a transaction fee
Go during a quiet time
Bring prices from competitors with you
Always be polite

Sometimes the best coupon can be your own bargaining skill.  Is there any surprise deals that you’ve made, that you’d like to share your strategies?

19 responses to “Make a Surprise Deal”

  1. lisaglynn1983 says:

    One of the best tips i know and have used is with Rogers or Bell. Whoever you are with, call the other one. Ask them what they can offer you for the same services. Whatever they say, go back to your current company and let them know. Watch how fast they give you something. I called Rogers and told them if I went with the same setup with Bell i would save about $20 a month. They offered me free internet for 6 months, and a monthly bill $30 less after that just to stay.

  2. Sally says:

    Our truck go a chip in it, it wsa only “5 months old” I took the commercials advice and made my husband get it fixed the next day. I am so glad we did. Windshields are expensive and if your deductible is over 500 not point in using insurance to replace it. Although most insurance companies do cover repairing the chip 🙂

  3. Dayanara says:

    It is surprising what you can get if you just ask. If it is something I know I can get cheaper elsewhere, I may mention it. Worse that can happen is nothing and you have to go to the other place anyhow.

    I learned this mostly last year when I was wedding planning, got so many good deals because I shopped around, really pays off. Saved myself at least 5 grand in bargaining alone.

  4. Jonathan says:

    I took out my windshield in my previous car while driving through the bridge tolls. I used to be able to drive through at 80km/hr but they changed the timing, and boom, the bar took out the whole window. My fault actually. The cost of a replacement was $300. But same, I had a chip in mind that always reminded me that it would eventually split.

  5. carrie says:

    I have ask for a discount at my local Scrapbooking store!!!!

  6. Anisa says:

    I know a woman who negotiated with a WalMart manager and got $100 off an outdoor play ground for her kids! Mind you she said she was really pushy, and knowing her I would have given her whatever she wanted too.

  7. Sally says:

    My one set of parents (product of divorce) gets stuff at Walmart really cheap all the time, esp on clearance items they’ll negotiate with the store manager. (BIGGER TICKET ITEMS)

  8. Catherine says:

    When my husband and I were shopping for a new mattress set, we went in to each store with a strict budget, and let the sales person know up front that we were only looking to spend X amount of money, but that it would be a cash sale, that day. It amazed my husband how quickly the sales people were able to make a deal, especially if it meant a quick sale!

  9. Supafly says:

    I was able to negotiate a 50in Panasonic Plasma TV (floor model) for a little over $850 taxes in @ Sears. I was also able to squeeze out an extra 2 years warranty and an HDMI cable. Mind you they sold the TV that they said they would put aside for me (which was actually the last remaining model) but it’s still over $500 savings for that particular model.

  10. mupiel says:


    Floor models can be an awesome place to get deals. Open box at Futureshop and Best Buy are the same. They want to move it out and the need can save you a bundle.

  11. JadeSpade says:

    We were shopping for furniture at JYSK. We purchased a two-piece sofa set and a mattress. We were going to pay extra for shipping but we didn’t let him know that we were going to buy it. The sales guy knocked off a little over $100 of our total purchase price if we purchased shipping which if I recall was $60.

    Another similiar deal was made at Best Buy. I walked in with the intention of buying a laptop with extended 2 year warranty. The Salesguy told me that he would knock off $50 of the lap top price if I purchased the warranty.

  12. Sunshine says:

    I hate buying running shoes, but I do a lot of walking, so I go through them quickly. Usually I will buy 2 pairs at a time, and ask for 10% off, and I get it. The only time I didn’t was when I already got a discount through my employer, so I asked for a pair of socks, and they threw those in instead. I have started teaching classes about saving money and being frugal, and one of my suggestions is ASK because you never know. Box obviously opened and taped shut again, ask for a discount. Buying multiples of the same item, ask for a discount. You never know when you will get a discount, and if you don’t ask, you never will!

  13. JadeSpade says:

    @Sunshine – I totally agree. If we don’t ask, we never know.

    I also wanted to add that if you’re buying clothes, inspect it. If you see a stain, rip, tear, seams coming out, missing buttons, etc, ask for a discount. Most stores will give it but may make it final sale. And if it’s the last item, you may be able to ask for more discount.

  14. Angie says:

    I went in January to buy a Digital SLR at Bestbuy and also looked at Henry’s, they had the same deal so I haggled Bestbuy and got a free camera bag, 16gb SD card, and free extended warranty…

    It never hurts to try the worst they can do is no 🙂

  15. Ally says:

    Where I grew up, haggling prices was an art form. Used to do it a lot, and missed it when I moved to Canada. Other than price matching, I haven’t really tried bargaining.

  16. JadeSpade says:

    @Angie – How did you do that??!! Did Best Buy just offer those in one shot or did you ask if they could do better? Please share your secrets. 🙂 We plan to buy a SLR some time in the future from Best Buy so this is good to know.

  17. MarsBar says:

    When I was looking for a Psp3 bundle I found a great deal online through Costco. It was a up to a week wait for delivery and we where on a time crunch. So I took just the print out of the site to Best Buy. He was able to give me the same package and beat it by $38, even he was amazed that he beat Costcos price. I was surprised that he trusted me with a print out I though they normally didn’t beat online deals.

  18. SavingMentor says:

    It has also been my experience that almost anything is negotiable. In bigger box stores, it often takes a lot of extra time and may not be worth the hassle … but with the right item, the right attitude, and some persistence you can often come out with a discount.

    The main thing to keep in mind is if they are ready to give you a discount easily then it is quite possible that you could get the same item for less elsewhere. Make sure you do your research first so you know approximately what the best price is that other people have been getting.

    Good job on negotiating down the price of the windshield!

  19. Moe says:

    It definately helps if you’re a good talker! Russell Peters talks about how his father would try to get bargains on drinks at the bar! (Which are way overpriced) lol

    Even better..


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