Save, make, understand money

How to

Embarrassed by the thought of haggling? Top tips to bag a bargain

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

When it comes to haggling, embarrassment is often the main barrier which prevents people trying to negotiate a better deal. Here are top tips to help you save more cash.

Haggling is something Brits are traditionally uncomfortable with as they think they’re being rude if they ask for a lower than advertised price, according to Douglas Rotberg, founder of comparison site Bookmygarage.com.

He said it can also use a lot of emotional energy, particularly for those who are less confident when it comes to asking for money off, and it can be a game where hagglers need to be taken seriously.

But it is becoming more prevalent particularly if people are making a large purchase, such as a car or a new kitchen, where even a small discount can amount to a lot of money.

Rotberg said: “Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or a better price – the salesman will probably be expecting this question. If a discount can’t be given, ask if something extra can be provided for free such as car mats etc. Play it cool, don’t let emotion get the better of you, but building a rapport will usually be beneficial.”

The holiday and insurance industry are more likely to give in to a request of a discount, especially as they’re offering very similar services or rely on customer loyalty.

However, clothing stores may be harder to bargain with. Often this is because the sales assistant doesn’t have the authority to bring the price down, while in independent shops it’s often easier to haggle as you will more than likely be speaking with the owner, or a main decision-maker, who may be open to some negotiations, Rotberg said.

Top tips to kickstart and sharpen your haggling skills

Rotberg lists these six tips to help you haggle and bag a bargain:

  1. Do some research (comparison sites are good for this) and have an idea of how much you want to spend before haggling, go in slightly lower than this as they will almost always work you up from there. Never tell them how much you are willing to go up to and never insult the seller by starting negotiations at an unreasonably low amount. Give proof of the evidence of your research, and your reasoning of the price you are offering.
  2. Be presumptive – ‘reduce the price to ‘x’ and I’ll give you the cash today’. Or ‘what can you do with the price to persuade me to buy today instead of going elsewhere?’ As opposed to ‘would you be able to give me a discount’ or ‘could you possibly knock some money off?’
  3. It’s always a good idea to give them a reason to reduce the price .such as your loyalty to their brand, flaws in the product, cheaper offers elsewhere and so on.
  4. Another good idea is to mention the final decision isn’t yours to make and it’s the decision-maker who’s limiting your budget. If the salesperson knows that you aren’t in a position to negotiate to a higher price as it is not in your hands, they might be more inclined to agree.
  5. For certain products and services such as cars, homes and expensive goods retailers, it’s best to wait until towards the end of the month to haggle as they will most likely have sales targets to hit and will be more likely to accept a deal with you.
  6. Never act too enthusiastic (they might think they can charge a higher price point); insult the seller or be unreasonable.