I learned that almost everything is negotiable in Australia and is this a good thing? I personally don't like it because it requires you do extra homework before you make a deal.
The trick is you need to "SHOP AROUND". What you really need to do is don't go to the shop you really want to make a deal with first, shop around to get the cheapest price and finally only go to that shop for final negotiation. This usually goes like this:
- What is the cheapest you can give me? If the given price is cheaper than the cheapest price that you have in another shop, it is clearly you don't do enough homework (this usually won't happen).
- Tell them that you get this price from another shop (show them the proof), what you can offer? If they offer the same price, ask them again if it is the same, why do I need to buy from you? Then, they will usually give you lower price again.
- Ultimately if you repeat the above steps couple of times, then you will definitely get the cheapest offer.
Utility bill is the one I did it recently which I did not aware it all until I was told. Can you imagine utility bill also can be negotiated? The highest discount among all my friends is 18%. So I gave them a call and start negotiating. At the end, we got 23% discount but with condition of 1 year contract.
- They first offered me 15%, then I told them that all my friends get 18% from another company, then they offered me 18% with a contract.
- I responded no. I don't want to tight to any contract with a discount. Then, the person in charge can't make the decision and need to escalate this to his/her manager. This is the crucial steps and make sure you go beyond this step.
- After the manager's approval, they offer me 23% discount with 1 year contract which then we had accepted the offer. I believe there was still room for negotiation but we didn't proceed it further (e.g. we can hang up and use this as baseline to negotiate again with another utility company)
This is really applicable to also everything which includes electronic stuff, car insurance, car, home loan, utility bills, lawyer fees and etc. Can you imagine it is really almost everything? If you don't negotiate, they won't specifically offer you. Take the utility bill example above, I have saved 23% by just giving them a call.
I don't really like this system and it is simply waste of time. It doesn't have standardization too. However, if you really want to save, do your homework and remember to get the proof to support your negotiation. I guarantee that you will get a lot more cheaper price than normal people get because majority of people here don't negotiate. Good luck!