Personal Finance

Haggling 101: How To Get The Best Deal

Ever tried to knock down a price and get a better deal? Unless you’re one of those lucky people who has a natural gift for haggling, then the chances are you’ve never even considered asking for a lower price.

But if that’s the case, you’re probably missing out on some great bargains that come from a little bit of luck and a lot of confidence.

You’ll never haggle with 100% success, but with these tips there’s actually a fairly strong chance that you can beat down the costs on some of your biggest expenses.

Know where to haggle

You’re not going to get much luck asking for lower prices at a supermarket or in a chain store. And haggling in a charity shop or independent store just makes you look stingy. The real bargains are to be had on household expenses and bills. Insurance, internet/TV packages, phone bills and even energy are all costs that it’s possible to cut down. That’s because their sales reps are empowered to cut deals with customers who may be wavering.

Call their bluff

In many cases, the most successful haggling strategy is to tell a company that you’re considering leaving them. The risk of losing you to a competitor means that they’re likely to bring out the biggest discounts, and you could get a substantial chunk knocked off your monthly bills.

However, this also means that you have to be prepared to actually go through with it if they don’t try to retain your custom. Of course, there’s usually the opportunity to back out even if you’re not given any financial incentive to do so.

It’s also worth remembering that you may be able to get a better deal elsewhere – so if you can’t get what you’re asking for, cancelling may not be the worst idea.

Consider non-financial deals

Obviously the main goal here is to get money off, but in some cases you should consider settling for other types of deal. For instance, you may be able to get extra minutes or data as part of your mobile phone contract – not technically money off, but still a better deal than if you hadn’t asked at all.

Stay polite

These deals are usually at the sales person’s discretion, so they’re under no obligation to offer you something if you start acting rude or entitled.

Aggressively demanding a better deal is unlikely to have the same impact as politely explaining that the price offered is outside your budget and you’d like to discuss the possibility of lowering the cost.

Do your research

Researching means that you’ll know what a reasonable price looks like, and this can inform the decisions you make throughout the conversation.

There’s no point asking for a ridiculous price that’s way below what any competitors are offering – the company you’re speaking to have no reason to offer this.

But if you know that a competitor currently has a deal on then you can ask for a similar price, and even namedrop the rival price. This way, you know that you’re asking for something within the right ballpark.

Good luck getting yourself a bargain! Remember, these tips might not work every time – but once you get into the haggling mindset, you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever paid off-the-shelf prices for your bills.

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Master of the budgets. Provider of the tips. Author and owner of DumbFunded.co.uk.
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