When I think of haggling, I usually think of being in a market on holiday, and kind of just shouting until the price gets lower. But I never thought you could do it in a proper shop. That was until I read this really interesting article in Time Magazine.
How to haggle in a store without dying of embarrassment
Know where to haggle
I doubt you could go into Oxford Street’s H&M and try to cut down the price of a t-shirt. But you could do it where the item is a bit more expensive. Electronics stores are likely offer discounts on TVs or DVD players. And you can ALWAYS haggle on jewelry.
Ok, maybe not the plastic rings from Topshop, but you could try in real jewelers that sell gold/silver. Independent stores are also good places to haggle. The sellers have more control over the prices, and the owner is usually around, so you could talk to them as well. If you speak directly to the manager or owner, you’re more likely to get a deal because they have more authority to cut prices.
You shouldn’t be rude or offer ridiculous prices. Start with maybe 20% off. Try to remain polite and smiling. If you get angry, so will the seller and that could cause a scene. Try to remain calm, patient and slightly humorous. Try having fun and negotiate with the seller rather than having an unnecessary argument.
Do your research
Know what you want before you go shopping. Then do some research on the product. Try finding it at a better deal elsewhere or online, and then see if your chosen retailer can offer you a better deal. (I doubt they’ll tell you to buy it at the other place).
No one is going to offer you a discount if even you look like you know you’re not going to get one. Have some confidence and look like you’ve done this successfully before.
Build a relationship with the seller
Chat for a little while, saying that you like the product, *pause for large sigh*, but state that it’s just too much. Maybe then, with big puppy dog eyes, ask if there’s better offer. Use the right words to get them to maybe sympathize with you.
Say your other half/parent will go mental if you spend that much or say that you’re a student or unemployed.You also don’t want to show your interest too much. Pause and hesitate a bit and use silence to your advantage. Silence is your friend.
The more awkward the better. In these silences, when you hesitate, the seller will come in with better deals.
Shop at the right time
Firstly, you’re more likely to get the seller’s full attention. There will be less people around, so you’re more likely to be able to have a long chat. Also, if there are lots of people within earshot, the seller will definitely say no. This is because if people see one person getting a discount, they’ll all want one.
Know what items are likely to get discounted
Old inventory is a great one when asking for better deals. The seller wants to get rid of old stock quickly, to make room for newer products. ‘Damaged goods’ are also likely to get discounted, and usually they’re not that damaged. The Levi’s store near my university had a small fire, and when the shop re-opened a few days later all items affected by the fire where 50% off.
While browsing through these ‘damaged’ items, I realised most were in perfect condition. But keep a look out for missing buttons or frayed stitching. Last items can also get you some good deals. Again, the seller wants to get rid of these as quickly as possible to make room for other, newer products.