7 On Your Side: How to haggle for dollars when buying holiday presents

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Nina Pineda reports on the search for bargains during the holiday season.

Many people know there is typically wiggle room when buying a car, negotiating a new home or buying big ticket items like furniture. But many of us don't feel as comfortable asking for a better price on smaller items for sale.

So 7 On Your Side went on an undercover haggling mission in search of bargains.

Rule number one: you have to ask. Consumer expert Janice Lieberman says get over your embarrassment.

Tip two: Be friendly when asking sales clerks for a better deal. Lieberman quoted the old proverb, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

At Christmas Treasures in the Palisades Center Mall, we wanted a better price on ornaments. The original deal was buy 3 get 1 free.

Tip three: Don't take the very first offer, ask to speak to a manager.

"If the manager can't help you, maybe the owner can. Have some patience," Lieberman said. "Ask nicely, can they do better."

When you get to the manager, try to make the deal better on your end. Remember stores need to move inventory.

Next tip, offer to buy in bulk. Think about who you need to buy for on your list. We got the store owner on the phone and made an offer.

The ornaments started out at $17 each, but by buying 20, the price dropped to just $7.50 each, a total savings of $150.

At a jewelry kiosk for cubic zirconia studs, the price began at $27 each. But we got 10 pairs of earrings for just $15 each, a savings of $120.

The big takeaway is if you can't get an add-on or a discount, ask if you can get free installation or free service..

Don't forget in any negotiation, silence can be golden. Silence makes everyone uncomfortable and to break an awkward silence, sometimes a seller will cave.

Lastly, be ready to walk away -- this is especially true for buying a new set of wheels. Car salesmen tell 7 On Your Side if a customer gets up and makes for the door, they will find a few hundred ways to not let them get away.

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