How To Haggle - The Best Guide To Saving You Hundreds

How To Prepare For A Life-Changing No Spend Challenge

Haggling is something that strikes fear into the hearts of us uber polite British folk, although when we go on holiday we seem to have no problem bartering with the locals - though maybe it's due to being full of copious amounts of cocktails...(frozen strawberry daiquiri for me, please!).

Equally though, whenever I have done a car boot sale, nobody seems to have a problem haggling even when I've given them an incredibly low price and they won't take no for an answer...FYI this is not a good way to do it.

Even if you are shy and avoid things like this usually, there are loads of ways that you can haggle - and they don't necessarily need to be face-to-face either.

After all, what have you got to lose?!

If you want something in life, chances are that you will need to ask for it. If you don't ask, you don't get.

Until money has exchanged hands - there are no legal contracts in place - so you are able to haggle even when you have walked into a high street store. I never knew that - I always thought haggling was more for casual settings e.g. markets, car boot sales etc.

If you have been thinking about doing this, here's some inspo for you from some of my lovely fellow money bloggers:

Alison at Thrifty Mum

I haggled with Virgin Media and saved £8 a month, I know it doesn't sound a lot but its still £96 a year I'd prefer to have in my pocket.

Victoria at Lylia Rose

Not much but we saved £15 on a new TV of around £300 recently. I saw there was Cashback so said it was better for me to order online, so instead the store manager gave a discount there and then. Better than nothing!

Eileen at Your Money Sorted

My hubby buys clothes about once a year, so was spending about £400 in one shop. Most of it was already in the sale, but I asked if there was any chance of an extra 20% discount because he was spending quite a lot. The girl happily said she would see what she could do and apologetically said she could only do 15%! We were delighted with that and saved £60 simply by asking a polite question. Result!

Neesha at Reinventing Neesha

I regularly haggle with Virgin Media when they try and bump up the price every few months. The last time I phoned and said I was moving to Sky they dropped £12 off the monthly bill.

Pete at Household Money Saving

I haggled with Sky. They halved my bill of £85 when I threatened to leave.

Katy at Katy Kicker

I haggled with the jeweller when having repairs done to a necklace. Got 20% extra off the price.

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family

We haggled on the cost of my little mini a couple of months ago and managed to get the cost down from £950 to £600. We were really nice and just explained that we had a budget and no hard feelings if she couldn't reduce the price. She had a think and voila, I got a bargain mini!

Michelle at Time and Pence

We haggled with BT and saved £10 per month off our bill and they threw in BT1571 and Caller Display for free!

Ricky at Skint Dad

I once haggled two pairs of glasses from SpecSavers, down to £69 from £199. The reason being, is that they kept getting the coating wrong on one of the pairs. I used this to get a BIG discount!

David at Money for Monday

I managed to get £20k off the asking price of a new build property, though we did have a large deposit and wasn't in a chain.

Jodie at Tightwad Mama

I haggled with the company I bought my house from and got them to pay all my legal fees for the sale. They came to around £1500 in the end so it was a big help with buying the house!

Faith at Much More With Less

I haggled when we bought a new range cooker to replace the elderly Aga. Persuaded a local firm to price match the offer on an Irish website, and ended up paying £500 less than we would have paid for the same model from John Lewis or Curry's.

Preparation Is Key...& Knowledge Is Power

Much like with anything that makes you feel a little bit nervous, preparing before you go in all guns blazing will likely get you the best results.

If you are going shopping for something specific, have a look at other retailers and how much they are selling your item for, before going to the shop/website that you were originally going to.

If you can see that other places are selling the same item for less, even if it's only by a little bit, you can go in armed with this information and be confident in your approach to it all.

student money saving

Be Confident

Easier said than done sometimes I know, but if you have down your research and you know for sure that you can get it cheaper somewhere else and they will at the very least be able to price match you, then you can be confident in the fact that this is going to work!

In life, if you are confident in pretty much any situation, you will do great. The person that I know that is the best haggler I've ever seen in action, is my friend who is very high up in recruitment - so is good with the chat, and getting what he wants. It is ALL down to confidence, and knowing that if you are not successful, you can go and get it somewhere cheaper - which the company you're trying to barter with definitely don't want to happen!

What To Haggle On?

Eeeeeeverything. Yep, pretty much everything you can haggle on - as mentioned before, until money has exchanged hands, there is no legal contract - they don't have to sell to you, and you don't have to buy from them.

Don't forget - the sellers of the products in the store or company that you are buying from, want to sell the item - that is their only objective. They set up the store in a way that will encourage you to buy from them - down to the music that is playing, and the placement of the products on the shelves.

So they want to sell no matter what - but they also have a profit that they want to make - so don't go thinking that you can beat their price down to a tiny amount if they are not urgently looking for the sale.

You can haggle on tons of things, such as:

  • Houses
  • Holidays
  • Cars
  • Clothes
  • Pets
  • Jewellery
  • Household goods
  • Insurance
  • TV/Internet packages
  • Electricity/Gas suppliers
  • Mobile phones

What To Say When Haggling?

You know that you want to haggle, and you're good to go...but what do you say exactly? Practicing what to say will give you more confidence in pitching the lower price. Some ideas of things that you could say are:

  • "I was looking to spend closer to x amount"
  • "What kind of deal can you do for me to buy it today?"
  • "X place sells it for x price, can you match it for me?"

Pay In Cash

Cash is incredibly tempting to sellers...maybe it's a psychological thing of seeing the actual physical money in front of them? Either way, the mention of you having the money there in cash, will help you win them over in your haggling.

It's convenient for them, it can save on fees with processing your card payment, they know that you are a willing buyer and you aren't just wasting their time - you are happy to buy instantly and you know what you are there for, so they do not need to use their marketing tactics on you.

Let Them Know That You Are Willing To Walk Away

As mentioned, they want the sale from you - especially if it's somewhere that they will get commission. A customer that walks in, knows exactly what they want, and is willing to pay cash for, is their dream customer.

If you let them know that you are willing to walk away, you are the one with the power and the confidence to get the price down.

As I said before, my friend who is amazing at haggling does this all the time. A particular time that I can reference is when he went to a golf shop and was going to buy a new set of golf clubs.

He wanted to get the price down, and they were unwilling at first to do so, but he said that he had cash and was willing to pay there and then, or he would just go and get them somewhere else. He succeeded in knocking the price down, and he given got them to throw in some freebies!

Oh and just to mention as well that he is probably my most wealthy friend, so please don't have the misconception that haggling is only for those who cannot afford to pay full price!

Always Go For a Lower Amount Than What You Actually Want

If you've watched the Boss Baby episodes on Netflix (my daughter loves watching them and is already a master at negotiating...which is both impressive and frustrating trying to negotiate with a blonde 6 year old angel who unknowingly has you wrapped around her little finger but at the same time wanting to remain the Mum Boss in charge) - they have explained it perfectly.

Always go in with a lower (or higher, depending on what you are doing) figure than the one that you actually want, so you end up getting exactly what you want, but they also think that they haven't been shafted...it's a win-win.

I do this all the time with things like when I am selling something whether that be at a car boot sale or on eBay - I'll say a higher price than what I would let it go for, to allow them to haggle me down - this is common at car boot sales in particular.

It Doesn't Have To Be Face-to-Face

Not the most confident person in the world? It's ok, you don't necessarily need to do your haggling in person, as we have the beauty of modern technology.

You can call companies and negotiate over the phone, or my personal favourite way of haggling is via online chat. I love doing this because it's really convenient - you can type away quickly and aren't on hold on the phone for hours, and you can walk around the room etc at the same time (I'm a nightmare for finding it impossible to only do one thing at a time).

Most websites have live chat nowadays - I used to use live chat on Sky to always knock them down on price when my ex lived here because he wanted the all-singing-all-dancing packages, so I would get onto them frequently to knock them down in price.

I was always successful, and one time they wouldn't reduce the price, so I said I wanted to leave and actually cancelled it, but they rang me back later that day and slashed the price for me.

Look For Faults

An easy way of getting something for less than the asking price is if it already has a defect. I've seen loads of people have success with this, whether it be an item of clothing with a rip, a washing machine with a dent, a car with a broken air con (mine).

Point out the fault to the seller and ask if they are willing to give you a discount due to the fault - I'd be very surprised if they didn't!

However, make sure that you will be genuinely happy with the defect in question and you aren't just getting it to get a great deal - think about it properly and if you will be happy to live with it, or if it is something that you will be able to fix once you get it home.

Let Them Do The Talking

Is there anything worse than an awkward silence..........................................................?!

If you have told them what you want (and have been polite in your way of asking about it, and followed the tips above), then stop talking and let them fill in the gap. They will not want an awkward silence, and will most likely try to fill it by offering you a lower price than what they had in mind.

It works - and you don't even need to be completely silent - you could just say 'hmmmmm' like you are thinking about it, and leave a gap for them to fill.

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But, let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy

If you are a polite, friendly person who has approached knocking a price down in a confident and knowledgable manner, there is no reason why you should not be successful.

After all, who would you rather have the money - you, or the company? I know who I would rather!

Have you been successful in haggling for money off something before? Share in the comments below!

How to haggle