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High Street Haggling Discussion

edited 21 December 2011 at 2:17PM in Shop but don't drop
174 replies 78.4K views
MSE_JennyMSE_Jenny MSE Staff
1.3K posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
MSE Staff
edited 21 December 2011 at 2:17PM in Shop but don't drop

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


  • dougal21dougal21 Forumite
    6 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    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 :)
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
    8.2K posts
    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.
  • 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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  • :o 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!
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
    19.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    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..
  • meliponamelipona Forumite
    492 posts
    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.
  • Enterprise_1701CEnterprise_1701C Forumite
    23.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Mortgage-free Glee!
    Nomad25 wrote: »
    :o 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
  • RebelRebel Forumite
    187 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    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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