/ Shopping, Technology

Two can play that game – haggling for a tech bargain

TV with sale price tag

Most of the tech products we all lust after are expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay the list price when you head to the shops. Tell us about how you’ve negotiated your best tech bargains in store.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping for a new tablet, a big screen TV or a powerful laptop in store – you don’t have to pay the price on the sticker…

Though a number of shops offer ‘special’ online prices and you can easily find online-only stores with attractive prices, many of us still like to go to a physical shop, have a look around and see what jumps out to us before making a decision.

But if you do purchase anything in store, do you ever haggle with the salespeople to get yourself the best price? And if so, what tactics do you use?

Taking on the tech haggle

Walk into some technology retailers and as soon as you’re through the door you’ll be pounced on by a pushy salesperson with pound signs in their eyes, ready with a pre-rehearsed spiel to try and make you part with more of your cash. The question is, do you accept the pitch or challenge them?

Salespeople will be keen to offer you an extended warranty  for your TV to offer you that peace of mind. But do you counter that with the fact that TVs are normally very reliable and that the warranty isn’t usually worth the inflated price tag (plus you’ve rights under the Sale of Goods Act).

And if they say that a certain laptop is available at that price for one week only, do you remind them of the store’s price promise and quote them a lower price nearby and tell them to match it?

We’re all about helping you be as powerful as the organisations you to deal with in your everyday life. So when have you exercised this power and bagged that tech product you want for the price you want.

Gordy says:
29 November 2013

Having heard a young mum and her advice on haggling, I gave it a go in a shoe shop – my wife and daughter retreated in embarrassment. “I really like these and they’re just what I’m looking for, they feel great, don’t suppose you could do something about the price, could you?” the salesman returned a few seconds later – “I could knock a tenner off the price”, I screwed my face a little – “oh, £15 then how’s that. I left in new shoes with a smile on my face . . . my wife and daughter left (still embarrassed) but in shock! If they say no, leave, but you may only make it to the door when you are approached with a better offer.

Peter says:
18 January 2014

Guess it depends how much the shoes were in the first place, and thus what percentage £10 or £15 is. Also it can depend on whether it’s a chain store or independent. It can be quite different depending on what you are buying. Some items, such as jewelry, can have a markup of 100% (ie it was bought in at half the price you see in the window), so you have some room for negotiation.

I guess Wedding and Engagement Rings are an area where the price should be halved and then add 20% as a starting point. You can always walk away, and given the economic situation, if there are massive profits being made, some of those staff will see declining sales and job cuts looming…


Has anybody haggled and succeeded in getting a significant discount in John Lewis. I tried in a JL store and was told they had no authority to reduce the price. I asked to speak to the salespersons manager and was told they were at lunch and that they also could not reduce the price. I made no excuses, just left. Does haggling succeed in a John Lewis store?


I recently bought a new dishwasher from John Lewis. The salesman totted up the price including disposal of the old machine and delivery to give a total of £410. When I pointed out that their website offered this for £349, they went into a huddle and waved bits of paper around and finally (one hour later!) agreed that they would supply at the lower price. As I am retired, the time taken was not important to me but I reckon that £60 saving is worth the time spent.

Dos that count as haggling?

Lower de Cost says:
2 December 2013

I tried haggling in Sheffield’s branch of John Lewis with no joy.
I wanted to purchase 2 off Samsung smart TV’s, total value over £2.4k at the time.
I even spoke to the floor manager, with no success.
They lost my trade for the sake of 1 or 2% discount, or an extended warranty.
Walking out of the store is the best method of telling them the customer is always right.

Peter says:
18 January 2014

Around 18 years ago, when DSG included Currys, The Link, Dixons, and PC World and they all acted as if they were separate businesses (whereas you now see ads showing Currys + PC World as one store, and Dixons is online), I wanted to buy a couple of PCs, which at the time were priced around £400. I asked a few contacts if they were interested, on the basis I’d see if I could get a reduction for buying several and had an eventual total of 5 (£2000).

I’d have thought that they could have offered a 10% discount, but no, PC World would only offer 2.5%, and Currys (remember, part of the same group) offered a discount of 5%. It was “better than nothing” and I doubt a small business in the town would have been willing to offer similar systems at anything close to £400 let alone give a better discount, but it did go some way in showing that the markup on technology might be lower than we think.

Robert C says:
30 November 2013

I consider extended warranties on TVs etc as a rip off. Panasonic offered a 5-year one through a local retailer, or John Lewis, for FREE. A well know high-street retailer wanted to charge me £300 for one (might have been only 3 years too)

The conversation goes like this: why is an extended warranty so expensive? Are they likely to break down?… oh yes, it happens, you should buy the extended warranty………. Oh, if the TV is that unreliable then I will not buy it.

I have even told shop staff if you try to sell me an extended warranty then I will walk away. The individual said OK, but the till would not let them process the transaction until they’d got a manager to approve it. He tried to sell me insurance at half price….. so I pointed out his shop really had been trying to rip me off. I walked away.

Peter says:
18 January 2014

Not saying they are always the cheapest or everything is superb (sure there will have been some customers unhappy with them at some point) but check the Richer Sounds pricing, as they do some low cost extended warranties.

BBC R4 You and Yours had a piece years ago about how Currys/ Dixons had targets on how much insurance was to be sold, and it was something like 25% of turnover. Sales staff were disciplined if they didn’t reach their targets. I hope that has all gone away (because I would prefer staff to concentrate on knowing what equipment can and cannot ‘do’ for me, than be flogging warranties), and I look carefully at the options and compare as much as possible.

I feel sorry for staff is there is management pressure – in 1990 I remember having to sign a document when I was after a repayment mortgage and NOT an endowment policy – there was pressure at the Alliance and Leicester back then, too !

Peter says:
23 January 2014

Quick follow-up to my previous comment, mentioning Richer Sounds – today had e-mail with their latest deals… 40″ Toshiba smart TV – 399.00 with optional 5 year guarantee at 39.90 – and a bigger, (46″) Samsung smart TV at 599.95 has 5 year guarantee included. (prices valid 23-29 January, in store only, and must mention the e-mail to VIP club members).