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Haggling Could Save Brits Billions Every Year

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There is nothing wrong with getting the most for your money. According to recent reports, people here in the UK have a hard time haggling for a bargain. It might be a British aversion to talking about money that keeps us from getting the best deal, but it is time to learn how to haggle!

Getting the best price isn’t going to just happen. Gumtree did some research of their own, and found out that every year people here in the UK miss out on £6.5 billion a year in savings. Bartering is about the only way to get the best deal, and there is no reason why you should pay more than you have to.

Gumtree reported that 61% of second-hand item buyers on its classified platform replied that they would rarely, or never, attempt any price negotiation when meeting a seller. It is hard to say why people here are so reluctant to haggle. The same survey from Gumtree found that 41% worried that haggling would be rude, and that 35% felt inappropriate trying to get a better deal.

You Can Haggle Over Anything!

Let’s get this out of the way: literally anything is open to negotiation. Many people don’t understand that managers at larger shops like Tesco and Debenhams have the ability to work with their customers on price. If you are buying a number of items from a big name retailer, make sure to talk to a manager, and leverage your sale to get a better price, or free products.

A big part of haggling is letting the seller know that you have options when it comes to spending your money. It is a good idea to show that you are willing to walk away from the sale, if the seller refuses to move on their price. This may feel strange at first, but it is part of why so many people pay more than they should.

Of course when you are buying a major item, like an appliance, home, or car, haggling over the price should be a given. Most home sellers in the UK are banking some hefty price gains, so don’t be afraid to ask for a much lower price when you open up the negotiations. You can always come up on your offer, and meet the seller in the middle.

Haggling is Easy

Before you go out shopping, it is important to decide how much you want to spend. Once you have that number in mind, the hunt can begin!

One of the first things you should consider is the relationship that a seller has to the object you want to buy. If they are the owner, it is very different that dealing with a shop manager. When a person is selling an item they own, they will be putting the money into their own pocket. For a salesperson in a shop, they likely won’t make much regardless of the price they receive.

Some big budget items, like cars, may be sold on commission, which would change the way a salesperson would approach the sale. It is also worth considering how popular an item is before you start your haggling. If you are putting in a low-bid on a used car that isn’t very popular, you can be firm on your price.

Don’t Let a Posted Price Stop You

It doesn’t hurt to do some research before you go out shopping as well. For example, if you are in the market for a new camera or smartphone, it might be a good idea until a new model is introduced. You can use the fact that the new model will make the item you are interested less desirable, and perhaps convince the seller to part with it at-cost.

Posted prices can be intimidating from the perspective of a haggler. Just remember to do your research, and let the person who is selling know that your are ready to deal. If you want to get better prices, you will have to relax, and haggle for the best you can get!


Nicholas is an experienced Finance Journalist who has written for a number of prominent online publications. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily!

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