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How to haggle on the highstreet

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We’re always looking for ways to save money, but the high street isn’t always the first place that springs to mind. You shouldn’t be afraid to try and get a discount off products wherever you are. This isn’t just for smaller shops or holiday markets; you can get some big savings from well known brands as well. Read on to learn how to haggle on the highstreet.

In Britain we’ve been brought up to be polite and often we’re too afraid to ask for a discount, as we view it as rude and not acceptable. However, there’s nothing to say we have to buy an item at the stated price. The best course of action is not to appear aggressive, but you need to come across as firm. Even big high street chains can offer discounts if you simply ask. Many of them will have a policy for giving discounts; it’s just that they don’t widely advertise these. Stores including Homebase, Currys, John Lewis, Wickes, Tesco and Debenhams, have been known to take money off for customers who ask.

Ways to start

If you’re a bit nervous about haggling, then a good place to start is to ask for extras to be included for the same price. If a store is close to making a sale, they’re more inclined to add some small additional items onto the deal. For example, you could ask for a DVD player with a TV, a cooker to be included with a kitchen or a hat with a wedding outfit.

Items in the sale are also a great starting point for new hagglers. Stores will often have a greater degree of flexibility with goods that are already discounted. They’re not going to sell the product at the full retail price anyway and it’s generally past season’s stock that they want to move. Check out stores when their sales have almost finished and look for goods with small defects that will be harder to sell.

Buy more to save more

Buying goods in bulk can work out more cost effective, especially if you can get a discount off the sale. A store is more likely to see you as a valuable customer and they’ll appreciate shifting a larger amount of stock in one go. This is useful if it‘s a product you use a lot of, you can combine a few different products in the deal or you could buy with friends.

Ask the right person

haggling on the highstreetGeneral shop assistants don’t always have the right level of authority for discounting goods. However, you also don’t want to be bothering the store manager with a small matter. If possible you should ask to speak to a department manager or the assistant store manager. They’ll have more say over the level of discount, but they won’t be too busy to deal with you. The higher up in a store someone is, the more concerned they’ll be about customer service and retaining valuable shoppers.

Buy a warranty

Often shop staff will gain a higher level of commission if they manage to sell a warranty with the product. This means that they will be more interested in potential customers who want to include an extended warranty. However, most consumers don’t know that you have the right to cancel a warranty within the first 45 days. When you’re shopping try and get a discount off the product by buying a warranty and then you can cancel this when you get home.

Look for problems

Goods with defects, no matter how small they are, will be harder for stores to sell. Therefore, if you’re willing to take a defective product or ex-display stock with a discount, stores are more inclined to agree. Look for white goods with scratches or marks and clothes with broken zips or missing buttons. These are easily fixed or won’t affect the usage of the item, but not everyone will want to buy them. Even if you know there was a defect, you still have the same consumer rights if the item turns out to be faulty.

Go independent

Independent stores have more control over their own pricing, rather than having to report to a head office. By being polite and a loyal customer, you might have more leeway when it comes to asking for a discount. They understand how important it is to maintain good customer relations and can authorise a discount themselves.

Just remember when it comes to haggling that there’s no harm in asking. You might not win every time, but if you don’t even ask you’ll never know what you could have saved.

 

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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