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.