With households looking to stretch their money further, it seems the determination to get the best value for money possible is driving more of us to be a little bit bolder when it comes to the art of haggling.

More than half (56%) of us will have a go at haggling, according to a survey by TopCashback.co.uk. And 79% of hagglers say they’ll have a go to try and get the best possible price, compared with 62% when similar research was carried out in 2018.


It’s paying off too, whether it’s shopping on the high street, over the phone or online. Consumers reckon they’re saving £477 on average each year by haggling (a £20 increase compared with 2018’s survey, and a £62 rise since 2016’s results).

“While seeing consumers be bolder and more fearless with their haggling attempts is great, our report shows only 56% are actively putting their skills to use,” said Adam Bullock, UK director of TopCashback.co.uk. “Shoppers need to be brave and try their luck with haggling – the worst that could happen is a retailer says no.”

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The art of haggling

The art of haggling - save money shopping
The art of haggling – save money shopping

Want to up your haggling game? To help hone those skills, here are 10 tips to master the art of haggling.

1. Do your research

Prepare for haggling by being armed with the prices and deals on offer from other retailers. That way, you can play rival brands off against each other and get better deals while they fight it out for your business.

2. Build a rapport and be polite

Being aloof and stating the price you want to pay will rarely get results. However, building a rapport and telling a story – you want the item but can’t afford it, or your partner is not as invested – will help a salesperson warm to you and show you’re prepared to negotiate.

3. Choose your timing

Timing matters. When a retailer is less busy or below sales target, they need to drive sales, even at a lower price. Try shopping when it’s quieter. And if you’re looking to negotiate a contract, pop a note in your diary for a month before the end date as a reminder to haggle.

4. Ask for freebies

If you’ve tried your best to get a lower price but the retailer isn’t budging, it’s not the end of the road. While salespeople may not have the ability to give you a monetary discount, they may be able to chuck something in for free like a camera bag, laptop case or free calls on a phone contract. They could even give you a voucher to use on your next purchase.

5. Look for discounted goods

If a retailer is already selling a product at a discounted price, it’s likely they may be open to lower offers. This works well towards the end of sales.

6. Look for flaws

If a product is damaged or the packaging is torn, ask for a discount to compensate. The smallest of flaws – tiny holes in clothing, a dent in electrical items, a scuff on shoes – can easily be fixed but could get you a fair percentage off the price.

7. Haggle at the top

If you’re haggling in-store, it’s worth asking to speak to a manager. A sales assistant may not have the authority to give you a discount and therefore will fob you off with a straight no. Building a rapport with someone who has more power to keep customers happy may get you better results.

8. Keep quiet

A salesperson will put an offer on the table and then be quiet, but instead of feeling awkward and filling the silence with a yes, keep quiet and make them fill it with a better deal.

9. Haggle online

The art of haggling - how to save money online
The art of haggling – how to save money online

Some 65% of people say they’ve been successful in getting a discount after speaking to a service agent on a web chat box. Ask a few questions about the product you’re looking to buy and then ask if there are any discounts or better deals they can offer. Haggling online means you could earn cashback too.

10. Don’t be pressured

If it’s all getting too much, saying you’re on your lunch break and have to get back to work or have another appointment, will give you a reason to leave if you’re feeling pressured to commit to something you know you’re not sure about.

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