<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tim L:
...Has anyone actually looked at the profits made on groceries, clothing, drugs, Doctors or lawyers offices, appliances? But we don"even think to negotiate those...</font>
Actually, prices for all those items you mention (and more!) are highly negotiated, but in a different way.
If you want to pay less for appliances, just shop around. There are hundreds of places that sell the same dish washers within 30 minutes of where I live.
The same is true for most consumer items. I buy beef at one store, fish and chicken from another, vegetables from a third, and milk, eggs, and other bulk items at Sam's Club.
For items with so many sources, negotiating means going to the next shop.
This summer I bought a top-rated refrigerator at Sears for a great price. I told the Sears salesperson I was just price shopping and that I'd rather do business with them but that Best Buy had the same refrigerator for a certain (much lower) price. The salesman offered to match that price, without having any proof.
Doctors and dentists? Most of them participate in PPOs, HMOs, Medicare, etc., and have to negotiate with them as well as with insurance companies.
The difference with autos is that there are fewer alternative stores. In that same 30 minute drive where I can find hundreds of sources for an appliance, there are only six Honda dealers.
The scarcity of suppliers is why we negotiate differently with auto dealers than we do for eggs. We do negotiate for everything, though.
Auto dealers generally fear internet sales, so much so that in some states, laws have been enacted recently to prevent manufacturers from selling directly via the internet. I believe that consumers should fight these laws. Maybe it is time for auto sales to join the 21st century. Dealerships would become delivery and repair shops only.