How to Bargain for a Wedding Dress?
By Natalie T.
December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011
In my last semester in college, I took a personal finance class and one of the things our professor went over was bargaining. In the US and many other western countries, bargaining is often seen as stingy and cheap, but Prof K. asked us what we valued more, the good opinion of a perfect stranger or saving money. We scribbled furiously -- he banned laptops -- as he outlined how to buy a used car or house.
Here are some tips:
1. Have a budget, but don't tell the salesperson. If she insists, quote a price slightly less than your budget.
2. Be clear that you love the dress, but also demonstrate that you are willing to walk away. Some people will tell you to hide your love for the dress, but I don't think it's a problem if it doesn't cloud your judgment. You want to show that you and the bridal consultant are on the same side, instead of opposite sides. Stress that it's your budget thats in the way.
3. Timing is important. For cars, my professor suggested we go towards the end of pay period. However, bridal consultants can be paid commission monthly or quarterly so it's a little hazier. Bridal shops often offer discounts during slow months.
It seems a little mean, but it works to go around meal times like eleven in the morning or an hour before closing. If the salesperson wants to close the sale, he or she may offer a slightly deeper discount.
4. Be polite. You don't want to burn any unnecessary bridges, especially if the bridal shop also offers alterations. Be pleasant and firm.
5. The discount doesn't have to be cash. You can also negotiate for extras such as a veil or for you alterations to be included.