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Haggling on the high street

Haggling on the high street
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Haggling is normally associated with backstreet bazaars and markets, but bartering is an increasing trend on the High Street too. A good haggle is fun on holiday, and seems to come naturally when we are far from home. Yet our perception of it on home-turf is that it is impolite, us haggling on the high street! We simply couldn’t?  This simply isn’t true – of course any form of communication can be rude if expressed in a nasty way, but when did politely asking for a discount become unreasonable?

If You Don’t Ask …

No store is obliged to sell you anything, and you as the customer don’t have to buy. The worst that can happen if you ask a shop to lower its price is that they will say ‘No’. So what have you got to lose? The way in which you ask may influence the outcome, and there is no harm at all in being a little coy and flirtatious, or a little cheeky and charming. Give it whirl – if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get.

Ease Yourself In Gently

Certain high street names are more open to the odd haggle than others are. To them, any sale can sometimes better than none, and this refreshing approach is your way in. A recent MoneySavers poll revealed some interesting results. At least 100 approaches were made to each of various retailers for discounts, and here’s what happened:

• Homebase, Currys/PC World and B&Q – gave discounts of some form in more than 70% of cases

• John Lewis, Wickes, and TK Maxx – all offered discounts in more than 60% of cases

• Tesco, Debenhams, Sainsbury’s and Asda – responded with discounts in more than 50% of cases

hhaggling on the high streetThese are big name stores, where many of us may spend significant amounts over the course of a year. Every little helps as the saying goes, and achieving even just 5% or 10% off on a regular basis can save you £££ over a few months.

Haggling Tips

• If a shop assistant says no discounts are available, get creative and ask them to throw in a few extras instead – polish with a new pair of shoes, or cables with your new TV, for example

• Target items that are already discounted – the retailer is clearly looking to shift these items and may be open to further offer a further reduction, especially towards the end of a sale

• Bulk buy when you can – the more you are spending the better your bargaining position. If you are in a position to buy things in bulk then always be sure to ask for a discount

• Aim for middle-management – ordinary shop staff normally don’t have much authority to offer discounts. A store manager will, but with so many other responsibilities on their radar any approach from you is likely to get short-shrift. Aim to speak to middle-manager supervisors, who may be keen to exercise their authority and grant you your wish

• Opt for a warranty on domestic electrical goods – and cancel it later. Store staff often have targets to meet on the sale of warranties, and committing to one puts you in a strong bargaining position in respect of a discount on the product itself. By law you have a right to cancel a warranty within a given time period of time, but can still retain the discounted price

• Play the price game – finding evidence of lower prices online or elsewhere on the high street can be a great way to get retailers to offer you a discount

• Shop independently – small, independent retailers are keen to attract and keep loyal customers. They are often willing to offer discounts as an incentive to get you back though the door

• Buy out of season – stores don’t like unseasonal stock taking up shelf-space. Buy your lawnmower mid-winter and chances are you’ll get a better price than pitching up in June and asking for a discount.

 

 

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About Cally Worden

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About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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