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Independents typically have more control over discounts because chains often can't go lower than a set corporate sale price. Ken Eilers, co-owner of Borderland Hardware in Mercedes, Texas, says the best way to get a reduction on pricey power tools, for example, is to ask the person at the top, such as the store manager or the owner. "It shows that you're serious about purchasing something." In most cases, it's reasonable to request 10 to 15 percent off, says Eilers. Just remember, a successful negotiation starts with a respectful conversation.
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