Many think haggling is confined to exotic bazaars in faraway lands, but Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is here to tell us the top 10 places to haggle on the high street.
Where’s best to haggle on the high street?
I asked over 1,000 hagglers which of 40 high street stores they had ever succeeded at bagging a bargain in. The top three - when rounded, all with a huge 78% success rate - were B&Q, Currys/PC World and Comet, with Comet at the very top of these three.
Yet in the next seven best high street stores to haggle in, at least 50% of people had succeeded in each one. These were Homebase, John Lewis, Asda, Tesco, Wickes, Sainsbury’s and Debenhams. (My guess is at supermarkets this is more about electricals and big ticket items than at the cheese counter.)
This proves many people are throwing cash away by not haggling. Usually, big ticket items are the easiest things to haggle on - furniture, electricals, cars and digital equipment.
The key attitude to adopt is the 'don't ask, don't get' attitude of hardcore hagglers. There's nothing wrong with asking for a discount. It's not rude, it's not impolite - but do it with chutzpah and a smile. And never get aggressive if they say no – they’re allowed to do that.
10 haggling tips (but for you, I'll throw an extra one in)
Doing your research is key to haggling - you need to know what a really good value price is before you start.
- Pick your time. If the store's busy, you're less likely to succeed.
- Don't go for someone too junior - they've no discretion - or someone too senior, as they've no time. A supervisor is great.
- If it's already discounted, even just on sale, the door is open to reductions, so why not ask?
- If it's the last one left, offer to "help them clear their shelves for restocking".
- If it was on sale, but that's ended, you know they're willing to accept that price.
- Buy counter-seasonal. Barbecues are often easy to haggle on in November.
- If they say no to a discount, ask them just to throw something in.
- Spot flaws in products to massively boost haggle power.
- Play stores off against each other.
- Be friendly, but firm. You're more likely to get a result if the staff member empathises with you.
- See if they'll give a discount if you get a warranty. You've a cooling-off period after to cancel it.