Do You Know How to Haggle? Key Tips and Guidance


Haggling often feels like something we do more commonly abroad than at home, but the truth is that there’s more places that you can haggle over prices than you might think. For instance, you don’t just need to think about bargaining for a better deal at your next car boot sale. You could also save a lot of cash by talking to the right person and haggling over your phone contracts or energy bills.

Haggling is becoming more common throughout the UK today, but the problem is that arguing with someone about the price of an object doesn’t come naturally to most of us. We expect that we’re going to have to pay the price that we see on the label – regardless of how unfair we think it is.

Here, to help you get the most out of your haggling experiences, we’re going to offer a few key tips and tricks to get you started. Remember, the key to haggling successfully is making sure that the seller knows you can get what you need elsewhere, and you’re comfortable with tracking down an alternative source if needs be. After all, most sellers would rather drop the prices to keep you as a loyal customer.

1. Talk to the Right Person

The first step in effective haggling is making sure that you’re talking to the right person. For instance, if you’re looking for an opportunity to get a better deal on your broadband package or your insurance, then you should start off by telling the customer service rep you speak to first that you’re going to cancel your service. This might seem counterintuitive, but it will get the rep to pass you onto the retention team for the brand.

The retention team for any company naturally has more power to deliver more tempting deals to customers, to help persuade them not to go elsewhere. On the other hand, if you’re haggling on a price in a shop, then you should try seeking out supervisors and assistant managers, as these people will have more power to authorize discounts than standard staff members.

2. Don’t be Aggressive

No matter how bad of a day you’re having, make sure that you treat the sales person you’re talking to with respect and kindness. Forgetting your manners makes it more likely that the salesperson in question will dig in their heels and make sure you don’t get a discount. A lot of sellers aren’t allowed to cut down the price of their products. However, if you’re nice and empathetic, they could take you to someone who could give you a better deal.

3. Show That You’re Serious

Most sales reps are willing to cut down the price of a one-off purchase or product if you show them that you’re willing to make the purchase there and then. After all, a lot of people have quarterly and monthly sales targets to meet. If you show that you’re genuinely interested in the product and offer to pay in cash, this could help your situation significantly.

4. Be Versatile and Flexible

Rather than simply giving you a discount, a salesperson might do their best to keep your custom and earn your loyalty by giving you extra benefits for free. Sometimes, this is the absolute most that a sales assistant can do, so don’t take it for granted. If they can’t give you money off the item or service that you need, try asking for a discount on accessories that you want to buy, or see if anything can be thrown in as a bonus.

5. Be Ready to Point out Flaws and Other Options

Rather than simply asking for a discount for no obvious reason, be willing to point out any signs of damage or wear that you might spot on a product which justifies your desire to get a discount. This is a great tactic when you’re haggling for a display item.

If you’re looking to buy something that’s brand-new, then you might want to show a customer sales representative on your phone that you can get the item for cheaper, or access a better deal by going elsewhere. A lot of different companies are willing to price-match if you show evidence of better offers from their competitors.

6. Be Prepared to Walk Away

Ultimately, if you decide that you want to haggle over the price of a product, then you need to be prepared to ensure that you don’t back down – no matter what. Keep in mind that both you and your salesperson are working towards the same outcome – you both want to end up with a sale. Often, the party that’s most willing to leave and walk away with nothing is the person who ends up getting what they want.

If, after all of your hard work, you’re still not given the deal you’re looking for, then don’t be afraid to get walking. Remember that you’ll often find that your sales assistant will follow after you. If not, there’s always a chance to find a better deal elsewhere.