5th June 2016
Some people seem to have the gift of the gab and can haggle their way to deep discounts. But for others, even the mere thought of having to negotiate invokes fear. Developing your negotiating skills is just like any other skill. All it takes is a little practice. If you find yourself in the group that is more apprehensive to barter, this guide can help you overcome your worries.
Asking a salesperson to throw in a freebie is an easy way to get use to haggling. Sometimes sellers may not be able to lower a price but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get something extra. Some examples could be asking for a free knife sharpener if your purchasing a nice knife set or extension cables when buying electrical items.
Anything on sale or clearance will give you a bit of a head start for negotiating. Shopkeepers need to purge items to make room for new stock so they will generally be more flexible when you attempt to haggle for the sale items. You will also find more luck if you shop towards the end of the sale when the seller is even more motivated to get rid of the items.
Items that are scratched, torn, or flawed in any way are difficult to sell which means easy to negotiate on. This is especially true when shopping for furniture. Even the tiniest scratch on a piece of furniture can get you up to 50% off or more!
If you are absolutely in love with an item, don’t let the salesperson know it. There is no motivation to lower the price for you if they know you would be willing to pay full price for it, so don’t get over excited. Say things like “The wardrobe is very nice but I think the cost is a bit high.”
When demand is low, sellers are more likely to take an offer. So it’s wise to shop for products out of season, like swimwear or gardening tools in winter. Extra tip, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as most people are spending their money on holiday items, home and car insurers are especially slow. This makes for the perfect opportunity to negotiate a dirt-cheap rate.
Hunt for prices using the tool MegaShopBot. This site will search prices for an item sold through online retailers. You can then take the price list to a traditional retailer and request they match the price or beat it.
Lots of online retailers have a help chat feature on their sites. You can use the chat to ask questions about an item and ask for a discount. Sites like Nike and Dyson have been known to offer discounts upon request.
Have a goal or a buy price in your head before you begin negotiating. Particularly when you are shopping for large expensive items. Do your research to find comparable prices and decide what price you would like to achieve based on the comps. Remain firm but friendly when negotiating. If the seller won’t meet you at your buy price, don’t be afraid to walk away. Often times the seller will cave once he sees the sale slipping away.
A recent poll by expert shoppers has shown which retailers are easiest to haggle with. These stores include SportsDirect, Carphone Warehouse, Curry’s, Homebase, and Topshop. But remember, haggling isn’t limited to retailers. These tips can be applied to many service providers like BT, Sky, and TalkTalk.