The crap economy and the internet are turning America's super-stores into haggling dens where savvy shoppers and retailers negotiate sales without regard for sticker prices, according to today's New York Times. "'We want to work with the customer, and if that happens to mean negotiating a price, then we're willing to look at that,' said Kathryn Gallagher, a spokeswoman for Home Depot." Haggling at Home Depot? That'd be kind of neat if it happened. But it doesn't-at least not anywhere in the article.

So where does the Times find examples of haggling run amok? Well, there are a couple of pals from Jersey who "got $20 off a pair of $250 speakers at 6th Avenue Electronics in the New York area." Assuming the reporter has been to the New York area, he might know that sticker prices at 6th Avenue's many gadget huts have always been mere suggestions. Same goes for P.C. Richard's & Son, where the intrepid NJ duo also scored deep discounts.

The next ruthless consumer cited-also from New Jersey–got a pair of $75 pants for $50 at a Soho Ralph Lauren store, which he found on the clearance rack. Then there's the case of a Boston couple who haggled over a Canon at something called Ritz Camera, and a dude who bargained at Best Buy, noting, "A lot of people don't realize you can go into Best Buy and ask them for a lower price." [NYT]