We all love a bargain, but it seems we just aren’t prepared to pull out the stops to get the best deal. So, learn the art of haggling and stop it from becoming a dying art. Your masterclass awaits you…
When was the last time you asked a question like ‘What kind of discount can you offer me?’ when you were out shopping?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone if this isn’t the way you usually go about paying for things. Research by Sainsbury’s Finance shows that only 39% of people buying a new car in the next six months say they will haggle ‘very hard’ or ‘hard’ – compared to 52% a year ago.
And these stats are generous when compared to our own research from last march – we found that only 27% had tried haggling on the high street.
Too British to bargain?
To me, these stats aren’t at all surprising. Haggling just isn’t something I consider when I head into a shop to buy something new, but in a foreign country or at a second-hand sale I’m like another person altogether. Then I’ll go in with rolled-up sleeves all ready to bargain… and I won’t back down unless I get a good deal.
So why is it that our haggling confidence drops on the high street? Over a third of people told us that they didn’t think the store would lower the price. Another 20% said they were too nervous, and 9% refrain because they don’t think it’s very British!
But it seems we’re missing out on a whole heap of discounts – more than four fifths of those who haggled were successful to some degree, with many getting the price they wanted or something extra thrown in.
Tips to get you haggling
So what’s the best way to approach high street haggling? It’s not actually as hard as it might seem if you follow some basic rules:
- Choose your products – the latest must-haves will be more difficult to bargain down.
- Do your homework – look for comparative prices in other stores and online. Then take evidence such as printouts to your target shop.
- Go at a quiet time if you can – it’s harder to bargain on a busy Saturday morning.
- Let them know you’re a serious buyer by showing interest and asking questions.
- A good deal isn’t always about a discount – ask if they’ll chuck in something extra or arrange free delivery.
- Be confident, but polite and friendly, not aggressive – don’t just walk up to the till and demand a discount.
- Give local shops a chance – they may be grateful to try and match chain and online prices.
- Be prepared to walk away.
- And to complete your preparation, watch our video guides on how to bargain and insider tips from an ex-salesman.
Is this enough to make you have a go or is it just not the ‘done thing’?