Why you should haggle for money-off

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Photo by ironchefbalara on Flickr

In Western society, haggling or negotiating is only okay in certain situations. It’s considered okay when purchasing a car, shopping at a market, or buying art or an antique. But it’s inappropriate to haggle for money-off at a department store, supermarket or hairdressers.

In the worst recession since the 30’s, what’s wrong with asking the question – ‘can you do me a better deal on that?’ Haggling isn’t a dirty word. In fact, the very idea that we live in a fixed-price culture is actually nothing more than a myth.
According to a poll of 4,270 consumers by MoneySavingExpert, many people have successfully haggled in high street stores and big chains. For example, out of 178 customers who haggled at TK Maxx: 47% reported receiving a reduction, and 13% said they secured a large discount. That’s a massive 60% success rate.

Let’s challenge the social norms, drop our inhibitions, and start bargaining. Here’s Mobile Money’s guide to getting a better deal.

Top 5 goods to haggle on

  • Home improvements – kitchens/bathrooms
  • Cars and vehicles
  • Electronics – TVs, stereo systems, tablets, phones
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Clothing – even at big chain stores

Top 5 services to haggle on

  • Breakdown cover
  • Home media packages
  • Insurance renewals
  • Mobile phone contracts
  • Credit card rates

9 phrases to start negotiations

  • What’s the best possible deal you can do on this?
  • My budget is £100; can you do it for that?
  • I’ll give you £20 for both/the lot.
  • Throw in the insurance/software/accessory and I’ll take it.
  • Can you do me the bigger/better item for the same price?
  • Do you offer a price match service?
  • I’m a pensioner/student can you offer me any additional discount?
  • I like this camera/car/coffee machine but really wanted something in red (or other colour they haven’t got in stock), I will take it, but only if you can offer me a discount.
  • I am thinking of switching…

Haggling dos and don’ts

  • Do look for imperfections – a small flaw can get you a sizeable discount.
  • Don’t try to haggle when there’s a queue of people behind you.
  • Do look for sale items and ask for extra percentage discount.
  • Don’t approach junior staff members; try to find someone senior to speed-up the process.
  • Do smile, be nice, make polite conversation and build a rapport.

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