Shoppers may get better deals by haggling at kiosks

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SALT LAKE CITY — Mall kiosks may seem to offer good deals while shopping, but many people may not realize that you could get an even better deal if you haggle with the sales people.

With only a few more shopping days to go until Christmas, the rush is on to find that perfect holiday gift at the right price. A KSL investigative reporter visited several kiosks, and discovered something that could save shoppers a lot of money.

No posted prices gives way to haggling

It was discovered that most mall kiosks don't post prices and many of the items aren't tagged — Because of that, shoppers can haggle with the sales representatives for a better deal.

For example, when I came upon a kiosk full of jewelry, I was quoted $35 for three pairs of earrings, but my coworker was able to negotiate a much better deal — $20 for the same three pairs.

Learn the art of negotiation

One kiosk was selling manicure sets and the sales people quoted a price of $99 for a nail kit.

"It comes with the cuticle oil, hand and body cream, magical buffer, the salesperson said."

However, after some negotiating, the price dropped to $25, and then when my coworker started to walk away without making a purchase, the salesperson cut the price to just $10. In three minutes, the price had dropped by $89.

"Today only" deals not always the best bargain

Many sales people try to hook customers with the "Today Only Sale". At one kiosk we were told if we made a purchase that day, we would get $80 off the price. The sale sounded appealing, but we discovered that we actually would have received a better deal by waiting to purchase the item.

One kiosk sold remote control toy helicopters. The sales person offered us the "today only" price of $199 for two helicopters, but when we stopped by the kiosk on a different day, the deal was $10 cheaper.

Patience pays off even if prices are posted

At one booth, a salesperson was selling jars of eye cream for $449 each. At this booth, prices were posted on a screen. However, as we stood and listened, the pitch went on for several minutes and finally the sales person said, "I will do something crazy for you."

Eventually, he was willing to sell a jar of eye cream with a jar of face cream for more than $200 dollars off the original price.

Price tags not required in Utah

The Utah Department of Commerce oversees the Division of Consumer Protection, and director Francine Giani, stated that in eight states, the law requires all retailers to make sure prices are clearly marked. However, Utah does not have that law.

Giani also said the state of Utah has not received any complaints about Utah not having that particular law, but she acknowledged that consumers may not realize they are being overcharged for an item.


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Debbie Dujanovic and Tania Mashburn


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