Consumer help website MoneySavingExpert has compiled a list of the top ten retailers where you are most likely to successfully negotiate a discounted deal on purchases.
Electrical and DIY stores feature heavily, and it is generally accepted that high value items from furniture to cars are the easiest things to successfully haggle over.
However, unlike many cultures where haggling is not just accepted, it is expected, we Brits are a lot more backward at coming forward. Our traditional reserve and fear of what other people might think of us generally sees us quietly accepting that the price on the ticket is the price we pay.
In the run up to Christmas, sales of white goods and furniture in particular are high, so if they're on your shopping list, follow these tips and you could get January sale prices in October!
First and foremost, stop caring what people think of you. Many people hesitate to haggle because they don't want to seem cheap. But does it matter? Are you really willing to pay top prices just so you can preserve the esteem of total strangers? Ignore your fear of how you'll be perceived by the sales staff and think of what else you can buy with your potential savings!
Be friendly and pleasant. Storm in with an aggressive attitude demanding a discount from the off will achieve nothing more than to get the staff's back up. Similarly don't try and guilt trip them into giving a discount, they may have a far worse sob story than you. Charm without smarm is your route to success.
Pick your battles wisely. Know what stores will haggle and which products to haggle on and do your research. Check out prices on the Internet before you head to the shops and find the lowest price for the item you want and use this as a starting point. Internet prices are almost always the lowest you will get and the store will be likely to tell you they have to cover their overheads, which is true. However, there is generally a reasonable margin between an Internet price and a store price within which you can negotiate.
Determine what price you consider to be a great deal before you start. If you're intent on securing a £50 reduction, an offer of £5 off can take the wind out of your sales and you have to be ready with your response, right at the other end of the scale. This way you can haggle your way to a good deal somewhere in the middle.
Be a bit hesitant about buying the product. Even if it's absolutely what you want, as soon as the salesperson spots you looking longingly at it they'll have the upper hand. Try to give the impression that much as you like the product, you can live without it if the price isn't right.
Examine the item for any scratches or flaws. If you find any imperfections this can actually help the salesperson who may have to justify the discount to his manager!
If the store is not able or willing to reduce prices, ask for freebies! Examples include an extended guarantee on electrical items, free antivirus software on a computer or even a discount coupon or code for future purchases.
Be prepared to walk away. Haggling is all about knowing how long to stick it out to be satisfied and when you need to walk away to look somewhere else for a better price.
Accept the offer when the price is right. If you said you'd buy it for £100 and they offer it to you for £100, don't be tempted to negotiate further, that's just plain rude! Show genuine appreciation and let the salesperson know that as a result of their service and willingness to be flexible they can expect your custom in the future.
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