First and foremost. Order by phone. Did I mention ORDER BY PHONE! Use the website to price, but...You got it... order by phone. This gives you the ability it interact with a live sales rep. This is good for a number of reasons. The most important is it gives you the ability to haggle. While Dell sets the prices, they are not in stone. Remember they are trying to make a profit. Do your best to decrease this profit margin Always remember that these sales reps are working on commission. A sale at a lower price is a commission that they would otherwise not have. Here is where your childhood manipulation skills come to play. Run some game on these agents. Good lines include but are not limited to the following
"Well, I almost have enough saved up but I'm about XXX dollars short..."
"Hmm, It sounds like a good deal, but I don't think I can afford it at the moment"
"I'm on the fence but I need some time to think about it..."
"Well the price is good, but the Asus I was looking at is $100's cheaper..."
"Aghh, I have to pay for a transmission rebuild, is there anyway you can knock $50 off? I could probably seal the deal then"
You get the idea.
Whatever you can make up, run with it. Think about it like this, when you're at the bar, you have to sell yourself to the ladies, this is no different.
Haggling is probably the most effective way to reduce the price. Understand that the ball is in your court. You have the money they want. Simple manipulation is all that stands in the way of you and your shiny new toy.
Now let's say they can't reduce the price any further. Push for Next Business Day shipping (NBD) or a mouse or a t-shirt or other shiny toys, maybe even a gift card. Throw jokes in the mix, ask them about how their day is going. Open them up.