Often one thing that surprises Brits when they travel abroad is the amount of ‘haggling’ that goes on both at markets/ street stalls and in high street stores. Because it is seen as the norm while we are abroad it seems we gain a confidence and in turn have a go at haggling ourselves. The problem is, as soon as we return home, we lose this confidence and surrender to the labelled prices stated on the shelves.
However, according to a recent survey from Money Saving Expert, this doesn’t have to be the case; in fact there are a number of high street stores that are willing to haggle on price in the name of making a sale. Your approach when haggling will somewhat determine how successful you are, so follow these tips to give yourself the best chance:
1. Don’t always seek discounts
Often sales assistants will be unable to knock any money off labelled prices however that’s not to say you can’t get some form of saving. If you need any additional items, try to get them chucked in for free, for example; if you’re buying a laptop, try to get Microsoft Office or an Anti-Virus Software thrown in as part of the price.
2. Discounted Items profit the best savings
The fact that an item has been reduced (whether that’s in a seasonal sale, as part of a manager’s clearance or an online promotion) means that the sales assistant has given up the idea of getting the original marked price.
A great time to haggle is towards the end of a seasonal sale. Retailers will do all they can to get rid of this discounted stock in order to make space for the new stock.
3. Multiple items = Better chance of saving
Buying in bulk is a known way of getting savings on items. The problem is; many don’t want or need to buy more than one of a specific item – this is where you need to use some initiative. One idea is to get in touch with friends (perhaps pop a note on Facebook) to see if anyone is in need of a specific item at the moment. Also you need to ask yourself; will I need more in the future? If it is the type of item that you’re able to stock up for the year; then do so and save yourself some money.
4. Go to the top
Often the most successful way of getting savings in high street stores is to go straight to the top by seeking managers or supervisors. Not only do they have more discretion than sales assistant but they’ll have less time on their hands meaning that your small sale will not mean as much to them in the grand scheme of things. This will be much easier in small independently owned stores.
5. Look out for flaws
Look at items from a shop’s point of view; if you have an item with a defect such as a mark or rip on clothing or a dent or scratch on an electrical item – it’s going to be tough to sell. As a consumer you need to play on the fact that this is the case and hopefully get a discount.
As mentioned above, the way in which you approach it will influence how successful you are at haggling; however there are other factors that will come into play.
The time of day is one factor. If you go into a store that is heaving full of customers the chances of you getting a discount are low. If you go in when the shop is empty and sales assistants are consistently approaching you offering advice, your chances dramatically improve.
The time of the month will also be a factor; often sales assistants will be targeted monthly or quarterly, meaning if you go in at the end of the month when they are striving to hit targets, they are going to do all they can to secure a sale.
Our final tip is to do your research. If necessary print out deals that you find on the internet in order to back up any price match claims you make. Sales assistants will often try to win you over with techy jargon so make sure you know exactly what they’re talking about to ensure that you don’t get sucked in.