How to haggle like a pro – 7 ultimate tips
How to barter for a bargain wherever you are
As savvy consumers we all like a bargain. Whether it’s knocked down food at the supermarket, cashback on top High Street brands or a deal on your phone and broadband; as a nation of smart shoppers, the UK are up there as a population who demands value for money.
That being said, when it comes to haggling on the High Street we are definitely lagging behind. Perhaps it has something to do with our having a stiff upper lip, but asking for a discount (especially in person) has long been a bit of a taboo. I for one don’t think it’s bad taste…it’s common sense.
What follows are my ultimate tips to bartering for a bargain, whichever shop you may be in.
1. Do your research
Whatever you’re in the market for, do your research. Check the price online but also check the promotions and discounts on offer. It’s also worth having a look in other stores nearby as some retailers offer price match against competitors within a certain radius.
Once you have found the best prices, use this to haggle for a discount in store.
2. Be confident
If you ask for a discount and you’re a bag of nerves; at the first refusal you’ll most probably give in and end up paying the ticket price. Instead, head into store with the confidence that you will get a discount.
You’ve already done your research so you can be confident that the price you want to pay is achievable. Transfer this confidence when speaking to the salesperson and assure them a deal can be done if the price is right.
3. Be polite
There is nothing worse than a rude customer. The person you are talking to may not have the authority to offer discounts but you could always ask for the manager to see if you can get any further.
Remember at the end of the day the person you are dealing with is just trying to do their job. If you’re polite and build a rapport with them, they are more likely to look kindly at working with you to get the price you want.
4. Ask them for extra
In an ideal world you would be able to walk into any store and use your charm to get a discount. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and when it’s obvious they aren’t going to budge on price, you need a different plan of attack.
If you can’t haggle any money off, why not ask for some freebies to be thrown in. For instance, people think computer shops are a good place to haggle but they rarely discount. Try to see if you can get something thrown in for free, say batteries for a gadget, a printer for a computer or an extra controller for a games console.
5. Damaged stock can lead to big discounts
Whilst you’re out looking to do a deal, keep an eye on items with cosmetic issues. It could be a washing machine on display with a couple of small scratches, a coat missing a button or a book that has a damaged cover.
Whatever it is, use this as leverage to do a deal and get money off. Although the item may be slightly damaged, as long as it doesn’t affect the use you’ll be walking away with the deal you want.
6. Target independent retailers
The bigger chain shops usually have policies on whether they can offer additional discounts. However, smaller and local independent retailers often have the authority to discounts goods as they see fit.
One thing to consider though is that they don’t have the same higher profit margins as their bigger rivals. If they give too much of a discount they won’t make any money themselves so try not to push things too hard.
7. Walk away
If you really can’t get the discount you want and you are working to a budget then it’s best to just walk away, otherwise you may just overspend.
At the very least, thank them for their time and say you want to talk about it with a family member. Go back to point 1 – research – and see if you may be able to find a cheaper deal online, or wait a few months when the price may come down.