Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • amistupid
    • By amistupid 8th Oct 16, 10:44 AM
    • 52,482Posts
    • 166,911Thanks
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:44 AM
    Haggling. 8th Oct 16 at 10:44 AM
    I've saved a lot by just politely asking sales people, "Is that the best you can do?"

    Yesterday, by simply asking that question, I saved an additional 20 on top of their other deals from a high street opticians; an 8% saving on that transaction and a further 20 reduction at a high street jewellers, which was a 10% saving on that transaction.

    My partner, who always pays the full 'ticket price', cringes a little when I go into haggle mode but I don't feel at all embarrassed.

    Are you a haggler?
    In memory of Chris Hyde #867
Page 1
    • LadyhavershamLost
    • By LadyhavershamLost 8th Oct 16, 2:29 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 16, 2:29 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 16, 2:29 PM
    Successfully haggled 20% off my Sky bill and a reduction in line rental!
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 8th Oct 16, 2:42 PM
    • 6,834 Posts
    • 43,090 Thanks
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 16, 2:42 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 16, 2:42 PM
    Yep, it's free to ask so I always do.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • Nomoonatall
    • By Nomoonatall 8th Oct 16, 3:12 PM
    • 1,106 Posts
    • 2,962 Thanks
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 16, 3:12 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 16, 3:12 PM
    I try, but I usually end up apologising for asking! I'm a bit rubbish at it.
    • By ERICS MUM 8th Oct 16, 3:16 PM
    • 3,480 Posts
    • 6,458 Thanks
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 16, 3:16 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 16, 3:16 PM
    I ask, especially if there are signs up advertising sales on other goods - I pretend innocence and ask if the goods I'm buying are also reduced. I often get something off even if what I'm buying isn't in the sale. More likely in 'private' shops rather than chain stores.
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 8th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 16, 4:15 PM
    If I think something is overpriced in a 'local' shop I'll sometimes say it's "a bit more than I wanted to pay". Does work occasionally.
    The language used on your Claim Form is often the only one they will understand
    • katkin
    • By katkin 8th Oct 16, 4:46 PM
    • 568 Posts
    • 7,265 Thanks
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 16, 4:46 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 16, 4:46 PM
    I've never thought to haggle in shops, I must try

    It's a lot of fun on holiday in countries where haggling is part of their culture, so I'll give it a go at home.

    Haggling for insurance or internet is much easier, maybe because it's on the phone. Hubby just negotiated a new broadband deal, haggling the price down quite a bit. He's much better at it, especially with garages.
    • Ballymackeonan
    • By Ballymackeonan 9th Oct 16, 9:49 AM
    • 603 Posts
    • 1,455 Thanks
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 9:49 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 9:49 AM
    A friend - originally from Yorkshire - set up a shop here in rural Northern Ireland, and found that she'd priced things too low as everyone haggled and expected at least 10% off the ticket price. So she adjusted prices up the next year...

    I find that I haggle much more effectively in France than here, as since I'm concentrating on getting the numbers correct I lose all my inhibitions about haggling too hard! Best haggle so far at a flea market was from !!!8364;120 to !!!8364;50!
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 9th Oct 16, 10:02 AM
    • 16,258 Posts
    • 30,257 Thanks
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:02 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:02 AM
    Haggling's for fleamarkets and car boot sales, not for shops.
    • Sam Fallow
    • By Sam Fallow 9th Oct 16, 10:20 AM
    • 842 Posts
    • 1,936 Thanks
    Sam Fallow
    I even haggled for my house.

    I got on really well with the couple selling it and sat down with them on the second viewing.

    'We're looking for this amount.'
    'What if I offer that amount.'
    We settled on the other.
    Then opened a bottle of brandy.

    Done deal.
    • Larumbelle
    • By Larumbelle 9th Oct 16, 2:53 PM
    • 2,108 Posts
    • 10,578 Thanks
    It depends where I am shopping, and on the item. At my local market, especially the butcher I go to and the old-style greengrocer, it seems almost expected, the traders clearly enjoy themselves and you get a bit of cheeky banter along the way. You build up a bit of a relationship with the sellers that way too, far from being 'that person' I have found that often they have good deals 'out back' that only get offered to regulars, will throw extra stuff in without asking, or will mention if they've got something they need to get rid of that they think I might negotiate to take off their hands for them.

    It's a long time since I've needed to buy white goods, computers or similar, but I would always either get the price haggled down or extras thrown in. Often the salespeople will get far more commission on insurance than the item itself, so you can use the insurance as a bartering tool. As long as you can negotiate to save more than the cost of the insurance, it's a good strategy.

    Even in the big national chains, if something is reduced I will ask if that's the lowest price. You would think that chain stores would be no good for this but I find some are very receptive. With damaged / end of lines they frequently just want the 'clutter' out of the way. I will also ask if there is any discount if I buy a lot of one thing, and I am surprised how often the answer is yes.

    When the two are combined - end of line is reduced and there is a lot of it - the saving can be phenomenal. A while back one homeware / household chain had balls of eyelash yarn reduced from 2 to 50p. When I offered to take them all if they could drop the price further, they suggested 5p per ball. I took what I needed (I had still paid less in total for what I wanted than if I had paid 50p per ball) and donated the rest to the hospital knitters, who were over the moon with it and raised a lot of funds by knitting and selling teddies. Another time a DIY chain had loads of bolts and other fixings reduced from between 1.50 and 4 to 5p each. That was a huge bargain already, but when I half-jokingly asked how much for the lot, they said 1p each as long as I accepted the computer stock level. Neither of us wanted to count them up, there were over a thousand of them! There were enough to last a DIYer several lifetimes, but I am part of a community group that will use them up in projects, and it saved them a fortune. Obviously this only works if you actually need and want that much of one thing, or know that you can donate it to an organisation that will.

    I have found that the secret is not to ask for a specific discount, let them name their price, because I wouldn't dare be cheeky enough to suggest the price they sometimes offer! If what they offer is not as low as you were hoping, you can always use it as a starting point.

    Haggling relies on confidence, and these days I have severe anxiety and probably would struggle to be quite so cheeky! I would say though, if you can, just ask. The worse that can happen is they say no.

    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 9th Oct 16, 2:55 PM
    • 5,753 Posts
    • 39,774 Thanks
    Haggling's for fleamarkets and car boot sales, not for shops.
    Originally posted by missbiggles1
    You'd be surprised how many shopkeepers are open to a bit of gentle (not pushy) haggle!
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 9th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    • 22,665 Posts
    • 56,851 Thanks
    Sorry but if you asked me "Is that the best you can do?" you'd get the short answer "Yep". I expect prices to be prices in shops/markets* and only haggle at car boot sales.

    (The butcher at our local market always gives us a discount anyway!)
    Going to become Mrs Marleyboy for real in 2018

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • missbiggles1
    • By missbiggles1 9th Oct 16, 3:08 PM
    • 16,258 Posts
    • 30,257 Thanks
    You'd be surprised how many shopkeepers are open to a bit of gentle (not pushy) haggle!
    Originally posted by Caterina
    I wouldn't be surprised, I'd be too polite to ask.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Oct 16, 3:21 PM
    • 2,932 Posts
    • 5,933 Thanks
    It's always worth a try with telecoms/TV providers. As has been said, just be polite, friendly, not pushy and, I would say, appreciative when they give you what you want, just as with energy providers when asking for goodwill payments.

    Talk Talk have just announced price increases which means their customers can leave without penalty within 30 days of being notified. I called yesterday and re-negotiated our deal, which did not end until June 2017. I am now paying 5.70 less a month for exactly the same package as I was before the price increases... and their prices are now locked in for eighteen months. They seem to be going in the right direction, unlike four out of the Big Six energy providers, with their "cheaper tariffs for new customers only".

    ETA: The 70p less a month was including Sky Sports, which has gone up by 5.00 so still cheaper than before price increases even with that.
    I just wish I had the stones to haggle in person; it is so much easier over the phone.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 10-10-2016 at 4:56 PM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Slowly57
    • By Slowly57 9th Oct 16, 4:21 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 2,282 Thanks
    There's a time and a place for it - we genuinely got a lower quote on both car + house insurance - for the car the existing insurer dropped their renewal price to match it - whilst the house insurance folks just shrugged, so we went elsewhere and got the same cover at the sparkly new customer price - I had to ask for it, mind.

    I'd ask for best price for second-hand, but never in a charity shop (so wrong) - or our local traders (who already discount in kind with extras or overs). If I wanted cheap/discount I could just go to any supermarket. I'm not on a super-tight budget so can afford to do this - I'm well-aware that many can't afford to be squeamish.
    Last edited by Slowly57; 09-10-2016 at 4:28 PM.
    2016 | Dec GC 170.00/200.00 | Nov GC 233.00/200 | Oct GC 243.82/200
    2017 | Additional annual YS & "it's a bargain!" float 000.00/100.00
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 9th Oct 16, 4:30 PM
    • 21,175 Posts
    • 36,772 Thanks
    It's funny isn't it, if you're on holiday it's almost mandatory to haggle, but not here. I think i'm to shy and timid. When i went to buy my last car i took an ex-car salesman with me to check it out. I was open-mouthed watching him, he made it look so easy, and the young kid of a salesman didn't stand a chance against him.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 9th Oct 16, 4:34 PM
    • 568 Posts
    • 7,265 Thanks
    Can't imagine you can haggle at a supermarket check out

    The seller needs some authority or leeway to negotiate. A lot of things you buy via a call centres can offer discounts or extras if you ask, as can sole-traders, owners etc

    I enjoyed countries like Morocco as nearly everything is haggled. Though it took a lot longer to buy anything. Still it was fun on holiday, maybe not so much for day-to-day essentials.

    Bottle of shampoo - I've give you 20p, no madam it's 90p, not worth it to me what about 40p, madam I have a family, a living to make, no lower than 80p, too much for me it's not worth it, 60p my final offer...walks away, oh but this bottle will make your hair so glossy, it's the best 75p and it's yours. Brings 70p out of purse, that is all I have. Ok deal!
    Last edited by katkin; 09-10-2016 at 4:38 PM.
    • Valli
    • By Valli 9th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    • 20,408 Posts
    • 232,039 Thanks
    I'll haggle occasionally, I (a) have to be in the mood and (b) have to be prepared to walk away. Best fun though is doing it in front of my mum who cringes with embarrassment. I will haggle at car boots etc, not that I go often. But I have stood as a seller and have had it done to me. So there you go. Depends how much I want to get rid of what I'm flogging.
    "I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness" Emily Dickinson

    Thank you Honey Bear
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 9th Oct 16, 6:27 PM
    • 21,175 Posts
    • 36,772 Thanks
    Do you ever watch that Antiques programme where the experts have to go around shops/fairs, buy things and try and resell at an auction for a profit. They haggle, they sometimes offer silly figures which the seller accepts. I always wonder if it were me or you, and not someone with a Tv camera behind them, would the sellers reduce it as much.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

385Posts Today

4,715Users online

Martin's Twitter