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Seen At 11: CBS 2 Goes Undercover To Test Price Matching

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — You may think of shopping at a flea market or garage sale when you think of haggling, but the age-old retail strategy is back — and now you can use it at major department stores.

As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported, high-end merchandise at upscale department stores rarely goes on sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a discount.

Price matching is the newest form of haggling, and CBS 2 went undercover and found just about every major retailer is willing to do it.

At Nordstrom, CBS 2 got a $48 bottle of Clinique perfume for $37. Macy’s sold CBS 2 a $56 four piece place setting for $33, and they offered us a $59 pair of Bandolino pumps for $49 — and offered to order them when they were not in stock.

“When you see a price on a ticket, don’t think that’s the final price, because it’s not,” said Joe Marrapodi of GreenToe.com.

Marrapodi said it is a growing trend with retailers who are quietly giving sales associates more freedom to bargain with consumers.

“I think personally that almost every store in the country will negotiate at some point,” he said.

Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Lowe’s all price match.

“That’s something that they’re finally catching up to us with,” said P.C. Richard & Son director of training and development Pat Dehner.

P.C. Richard & Son has been matching prices for 50 years. Dehner said he is not surprised more retailers are adopting the policy because it makes good business sense.

“We want to make sure that the customer feel like they don’t have to go out and shop elsewhere,” he said.

Consumers who spoke to CBS 2 had mixed feelings on haggling or asking for a price match.

“I feel it’s simply trying to strongarm somebody, and that’s just not me,” one customer said.

“It’s just being a smart consume,” another said.

But if you’re going try to price match, experts said you need to do it right.

“You certainly want to be polite about it,” Marrapodi said.

You also want to be armed with proof that you can buy the exact item for less somewhere else. And if an employee declines to price match, you can ask for a manager who might decide otherwise.

It worked for CBS 2 undercover – about 50 percent of our department store negotiations were successful.

Other major retailers that price match include Wal-Mart, Staples, Office Depot and Target.

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