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High Street Haggling Discussion
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# 1
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MSE Jenny
Old 04-11-2008, 1:42 PM
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Default High Street Haggling Discussion




Hi, we've written a High Street Haggling guide with 20 top techniques and sector-by-sector strategies.

If you've tried the techniques mentioned in the guide, were you successful? How much did you save? What are your top bartering tips?

Thanks
for your help


MSE Jenny


Last edited by MSE Jenny; 21-12-2011 at 2:17 PM.
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# 2
dougal21
Old 05-11-2008, 7:22 AM
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WHOA! Hold on a minute there Martin!

Great advice for the large companies and High Street chains, but please, please PLEASE, don't make life more difficult for the small independent retailer than it already is. Please do NOT use these techniques in those unique, independent, shops that give the otherwise bland and uniform High Streets a bit of colour and variety.

My wife has run a clothes shop for twenty years. She survived the last recession - just - but one bad season can wipe you out. Things are already bad. The last thing she needs is what few customers are coming through the door demanding discounts and finding imaginary faults.

What people fail to realise is that 10% off a retail price is much more than 10% of the gross profit on an item. If you buy something wholesale for 50 and sell it retail for 135, ten percent off is a discount of 13.50, but 13.50 is nearly 16% of the gross profit on that item.

Customers have no idea how difficult it is to run a shop and how much work is involved. It's not a 9-5 job. Night after night she comes home to do paperwork, deal with returns, and worry about the next week's takings, sort out staff problems, arrange advertising etc.

Treat your independent retailer with respect and don't ask for discount. Otherwise you can look forward to every town in country full of the same old boring chains and no variety, nothing new or different, none of that personal service, or that special touch.

Support your local independent butcher, baker, candlestick maker, and most of all clothes shops!

Thank you
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# 3
markinvention
Old 05-11-2008, 8:28 AM
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Default Haggle? You Must Be Joking...

Can't help but snigger when I read articles about high street haggling. Here's my recent experience at Curry's.

I went in to buy a Samsung LCD TV at Curry's. It was priced at 799.00. I spoke to the Salesman and said that I had seen this at Dixons at 749.00 and if he would match it I would buy there and then.

He said they would as 'they are part of us anyway'. We got to the stock terminal, he confirmed they had it in stock and I got out my credit card ready to pay. He then said he would have to 'clear the price' and went off, only to return a few minutes later saying they wouldn't match the price. He then said 'Dixons get their stock from someone else these days'.

I said, we are talking about a difference of 50 and I was asking for them to match a price from one of their sister companies. I also said I wanted to buy a Sky package with the TV. All I got was 'sorry mate'.

So, I went home, searched online for the Dixons site, got another 25.00 discount code and bought the TV for 725.00!!!!

This is in the midst of the worst credit crunch, and appalling trading figures for most high street stores - particularly consumer electrics!!

I am afraid that this had been my experience with Curry's, Comet and smaller electric 'chains'. The only store I have ever known match a lower price is John Lewis - NOBODY seems to want to beat a price, even in todays supposed difficult trading conditions.

Haggle in the high street? I don't think so...
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# 4
kerrydrobertson
Old 05-11-2008, 9:59 AM
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My husband does haggle with any 'large & expensive' items we need to buy such as TV, hifi etc and he has always managed to somehow get a really good deal through looking at different dealers online and then calling or going into stores.
John Lewis gave a generous discount on our hifi and went through empire direct for our tv and surround sound.

also recently i was buying a pair of Ugg boots and at 170 they are not cheap. the box was bashed, they asked if i minded and i said i would take them with 15 off, and they agreed. also had a few 5-10 off when there have been marks on clothes or little holes, buttons missing.
i always like to ask but i only will if there is actually something wrong with the item.
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# 5
Biggles
Old 05-11-2008, 12:10 PM
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I agree with Dougal re independent High Street stores. BUT I would still feel better striking a deal with a local shop than paying a bit less and going to T*sc* or similar.

And I'm quite sure the local shop would prefer to be given the choice of offering you a price and making a trade than have you pass on by because the price on display is a little too high for you.
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# 6
talulahbeige
Old 05-11-2008, 12:48 PM
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I went to Next a couple of weeks ago and liked apair of jeans, they only had 1 pair out in my size. In the changing room i found a button in the pocket which had fallen off. I loved the jeans so decided to ask if they would reduce them as it would be easy for me to sew the button back on.

They refused as they could still be bought online.
I politely left the other purchases I was going to make behind aswell.
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# 7
Nomad25
Old 05-11-2008, 1:14 PM
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I want to know how the hagglers overcome their embarrassment - I certainly would like to do this, but even now can feel my toes curling at the thought of it.

Guess I'm just a wus!
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# 8
hollydays
Old 05-11-2008, 5:32 PM
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I was in a would-be designer clothes shop today and heard them loudly saying on the phone,that they had terrible sales yesterday and only sold something by giving discount. I then heard another shop saying how poor business had been..hmm..I am going in tommorrow armed with cash..
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# 9
melipona
Old 05-11-2008, 6:44 PM
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Everything has a value, the seller thinks he knows what you will pay and prices accordingly, the canny shopper will suggest to the seller their view of the value, a few polite words and smiles are exchanged and a deal is struck. No embarrassment on either side, no losers either.
I would proffer that the first trade that ever took place included a bit of haggling, it is normal business and, lets be honest, the seller almost certainly haggles with their own suppliers so why not with the end customer?
With the obvious exception of fixed priced chains, I ask for, and usually receive a discount on almost every service or product I pay for, and encourage others to do the same.
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# 10
Enterprise 1701C
Old 05-11-2008, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad25 View Post
I want to know how the hagglers overcome their embarrassment - I certainly would like to do this, but even now can feel my toes curling at the thought of it.

Guess I'm just a wus!
It's not the embarrassment of the haggler - it's who they're with! I got a couple of quid knocked off a digital watch (no reason - just felt like it!!) when I was about 16 (30 odd years ago!) and my best mate who I was with went crimson and didn't speak to me for an hour!
What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
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# 11
Rebel
Old 05-11-2008, 10:58 PM
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Re dougal21's post about the independent shop, sorry but I have to say the shop can always refuse to give discount, surely they are better off taking a smaller profit and getting the sale than NO profit at all because the customer goes elsewhere.

I used to be a retail regional manager, and dependent on the circumstances would far rather take some profit (If for example the item was readily available and not in short supply) than lose a sale.

Whilst I like seeing independents, many of these use that to their advantage and price stock accordingly.

I personally only buy from shops that supply the goods I want at a FAIR price, that doesn't necessarilly mean the cheapest, there are some occasions where back up and support matter more to me than a small saving, but I will NOT pay over the odds either.

A fair price is a price where both parties come away happy as far as I'm concerned, the shop makes some profit (albeit less than they hoped for) and I get what I want at a price I am prepared to pay.
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# 12
MattLFC
Old 06-11-2008, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
they are better off taking a smaller profit and getting the sale than NO profit at all because the customer goes elsewhere.
This is so true, this is why the likes of Sky, Virgin and o2 etc will, in some circumstances, offer customers their service at stupid prices, because some income/profit is better than none.

In my business, if someone comes along and offers me a price for something, I look at it two ways:

- Am I able to make a profit on the service at that price?

and if not:

- Is the service already profitable with spare capacity and am I able to serve the customer without paying a penny more/having any adverse effect on other clients, so adding some more income to it, even if its sold at a "loss" means I make more overall profit.

It does not matter what price the customer offers (so long as its somewhat realistic), if I can answer yes to either of them two questions, then its a happy sale for both parties. Nine times out of 10, if the first question is a no, the second is a yes.


Last edited by MattLFC; 06-11-2008 at 12:28 AM.
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# 13
MattLFC
Old 06-11-2008, 12:32 AM
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Oh and at the end of the day, if the seller is not happy with the price, they can negotiate by telling the buyer their lowest possible price. If it's not good enough, then the seller and the buyer agree to disagree and nobody is out of pocket.

Although, if times are that tough for a seller, and they have a stockpile, they will probably be prepared to take a loss on stock they have already paid for, to ensure they have income.

Too many business's (and individuals for that matter) will go out of business/bankrupt for one reason, not due to haggling, but because they didnt put enough money aside during the boom times, instead they spent it recklessly, thanks to a mixture of greed and foolishly believing Mr Brown's promises that the boom would never again turn to bust.

And if thats not the case, then the business simply isnt viable economically im afraid, so no amount of customer haggling is going to send them out of business.

Last edited by MattLFC; 06-11-2008 at 12:35 AM.
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# 14
vigman
Old 06-11-2008, 8:59 AM
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Haggling! This has been my life even before MSE!!

Last week I found a very expensive Neff Double Oven in a shop for 950GBP. I went home and found the cheapest internet price of 706GBP. Not only did they match it on the spot, but also took away other old appliances I had at home for disposal for free.

Also last week my 35GBP per month O2 contract was ending. After haggling on the phone I got the same deal 600 minutes + unlimited texts with an additional 200 minutes for 15 GBP! (They first offered 25 then 20, then 18!).Best of all this is a monthly renewable contract

Just do it. They can only say "No"

Vigman
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# 15
ger8
Old 06-11-2008, 2:35 PM
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Default Haggling - would you ask M & S for a discount?

Haggling - why as an independant shopkeeper I hate it!

(I have a small gift shop which sells jewellery, clothing and general gifts)
  • I price my stock fairly and competitively already to compete with the chain stores
  • My regular customers do get a discount because they are just that "REGULARS" - they never need to ask
  • Customers who ask for a discount on low value items just because they are buying two - and then expect to pay with a credit/debit card thereby reducing my profit margin even more.
  • When I politely explain that my profit margins are low already, they continue to haggle. No is no in any language surely?
If a customer asks me for a discount my reply now is - "Hang on a minute then while I call my Landlord to see if he will reduce my rent this month, and then I'll ring the Council to see if they will reduce my rates"

or

"Do you ask Tesco for a reduction if you are buying two loaves of bread or Marks and Spencers if you buy two pairs of socks?"

The classic is "Can I get a discount for this item as it's been on the shelf" - er, no, thats how we display goods. Do you think Tescos gives a discount for an apple thats been sitting in a display or a packet of biscuits? No, I didn,t think so!

Having said all this, I enjoy a bit of a haggle myself, but only with large chain stores selling large consumer items where they are making huge profits anyway. I know how difficult it is for small shops - rent, rates and delivery charges only ever go up in our business and we dont reprice every item in the shop to reflect this increase!

Last edited by ger8; 06-11-2008 at 2:37 PM.
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# 16
traceys9062
Old 06-11-2008, 2:42 PM
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My mum wanted to buy a new coat so we went to debenhams armed with a 5 voucher (from Express)
I read about haggling yesterday & wondered if we should give it a go??
The coat my mum liked was in the Jacques Vert section with a 20 off label, I asked the assistant if she thought these coats may be reduced even further in the next few weeks to which she replied she didnt know.
We then said we would think about it as it was quite expensive to which she replied she could give us a further 20% off the price!!
A further 35.80 off making the total saving 55.80!
Not bad for a first attempt

(couldnt use the 5 voucher with this offer but were given 2 more in store)
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# 17
jgriggle
Old 06-11-2008, 8:12 PM
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I used to work in electrical retail, and the margins on that are TINY. It never does any harm to ask for discount, but don't be patronising, or ask for the manager and remember that no means no. (It's worth remembering that you have NO chance of discount on the big brands, as shops often sell these as loss leaders to attract people in to the store) We used to have discretion regarding discount, but if we discounted any more than a third off the profit we used to get no commission, so sometimes would rather see a customer walk away empty handed than waste time processing the sale for nothing. Single purchases have no chance of free stuff/discount but if you're buying many things it's worth asking. Oh, and one more point - if you've been particularly obnoxious in the shop, don't expect the very best in assistance and advice when you've got no idea how to work it!
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# 18
Biggles
Old 06-11-2008, 8:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ger8 View Post
If a customer asks me for a discount my reply now is - "Hang on a minute then while I call my Landlord to see if he will reduce my rent this month, and then I'll ring the Council to see if they will reduce my rates"
or
"Do you ask Tesco for a reduction if you are buying two loaves of bread or Marks and Spencers if you buy two pairs of socks?"
I'm sure your line of banter brings the punters flocking in!
;-)
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# 19
vyle
Old 07-11-2008, 9:06 AM
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I work in the audio/tv section of John Lewis, and am quite surprised to have read how some people have managed to haggle deals out of us, because at my store, we have a very strict 'the price is exactly as marked' policy.

The reason for this, is, as some people have pointed out, that in electrical, we have TINY profit margins. As JL has the never knowingly undersold policy, we're already matching the lowest high street price, and even after purchase, if the customer finds it cheaper within 28 days, we'll refund the difference.

This has led to us selling TVs that should be 699 for as little as 445.

The bizarre thing is, customers are sometimes happier to go to a rival shop that's charging 750 for the same TV and get the psychological victory of haggling off 30 and getting free delivery thrown in and a free HDMI cable than getting nowhere haggling, but saving 300.

Because of this, we don't haggle at all. Even on ex display/discontinued/clearance lines, there is a set % we drop and no more, and that's already been taken off the original price.

I can understand why people want to haggle, but sometimes they haggle beyond reason and simply won't take no for an answer. I'd LIKE to be able to give some discount to make my job a lot easier, but to do so would cost me my job.
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# 20
hollydays
Old 07-11-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyle View Post
I work in the audio/tv section of John Lewis, and am quite surprised to have read how some people have managed to haggle deals out of us, because at my store, we have a very strict 'the price is exactly as marked' policy.

The reason for this, is, as some people have pointed out, that in electrical, we have TINY profit margins. As JL has the never knowingly undersold policy, we're already matching the lowest high street price, and even after purchase, if the customer finds it cheaper within 28 days, we'll refund the difference.

This has led to us selling TVs that should be 699 for as little as 445.

The bizarre thing is, customers are sometimes happier to go to a rival shop that's charging 750 for the same TV and get the psychological victory of haggling off 30 and getting free delivery thrown in and a free HDMI cable than getting nowhere haggling, but saving 300.

Because of this, we don't haggle at all. Even on ex display/discontinued/clearance lines, there is a set % we drop and no more, and that's already been taken off the original price.

I can understand why people want to haggle, but sometimes they haggle beyond reason and simply won't take no for an answer. I'd LIKE to be able to give some discount to make my job a lot easier, but to do so would cost me my job.
but john lewis now have the reputation for making it virtually impossible to claim under the price promise.
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