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Everyday Economy

You might as well ask

If there's one money-saving suggestion that comes up again and again, in a huge range of circumstances, it's this: You can negotiate prices on much more than you might imagine.

Most recently, I was surprised at how many consumer advocates and others say it's a good idea to try to bargain even with your doctor -- which sounds a bit extreme on the face of it, but which surveys show works the majority of the time.

In a post at Wise Bread, Nora Dunn writes about using negotiation tactics to get her cell phone bill and credit card rates lowers. As she puts it:

Truly – you can negotiate just about anything. Just because a website advertises specific rate packages does not mean that you cannot bend the rules. I recently signed up for internet access with a new supplier; in so doing I researched the packages available online, and then called to ask if they had any promotions available. Between the two people I talked to, I saved over $400 in posted connection fees, received 50% off the posted monthly rates, and got a $10 monthly reduction in my telephone bill too. None of these discounts were posted online, and I don't believe they would have become available to me if I had not asked.

There's plenty more at the full post, here.

Do you try to negotiate better deals on typical consumer goods and services? How effective has that been?  

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Everyday Economy is a blog and weekly page in the newspaper dedicated to the way people are living their financial lives. Shawn Vestal, a longtime Spokesman-Review writer and editor, is overseeing the project.