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Published on October 15th, 2012 | by Pete


Haggling – always have a bash

A friend of mine came round to talk to me recently (lets call him Jim). He decided to treat himself to an Apple Ipad 2 (lucky fella). He told me that he had done some online research, and that he had decided that he linked the look of a deal in Currys, where the 16gb version of the Ipad 2 had £70 off the full price, and was available at £329. He liked this price, and was also happy that there was an option to pay it over a 10 month period through finance. Jim told me that had done all of his maths and was happy with how much he would be paying in total for the Ipad (including interest). Jim is aware of this blog, and asked me if I had any haggling tips, for the beginner haggler. Jim is a nervous chap, and said he was not confident he would be able to negotiate an improved deal.

At this point, I decided it was time for an ad hoc haggling workshop, Pete style. You can probably imagine a Rocky training montage occurred at this point. Well, the 80s soft rock ballads were certainly present. Anyway, the key point of this session, is that there is normally always something that can be haggled, and generally always a way that a deal can be improved, even if initially staff tell you that it’s not possible.

Jim went off to Currys, and recounted his experiences to me later. He described speaking to a nervy looking young sales chap, by the name of Brandon. After some discussion, Jim bit the bullet and asked if there was any flexibility on the price. Brandon shook his head sadly, and informed Jim this was not possible. Jim, undeterred, suggested that he might be interested in taking out a warranty on the Ipad, but this would depend on if he could get a free case (normally £35) for his new Ipad. Brandon said he would need to seek advice, which he did. Upon his return, Brandon said that he was able to agree £20 off the price for the case, if Jim took out the policy. The bonus is (as Jim whispered later to me surreptitiously; as if Brandon himself were also on the sofa drinking tea) that he can simply telephone the company that offer the warranty and cancel his policy, meaning that he saved himself £20, for the price of a phone call! I was proud of Jim, and I told him so.

The moral of the story is that it is always worth haggling. Normally, there are savings to be had, but people are too anxious, or British to ask. There is nothing rude or anti social about asking for a discount or incentive to take up a service or product, as long as you are polite and reasonable, you’ll be surprised how sales staff can often respond in kind. Sales staff want to sell, and as the customer you are in the position of power, not them. In most cases you can buy products and services in many places, so make companies work for your money, you certainly had to! We can all learn a lesson from nervous Jim, and we’d love to hear your stories about bargains you negotiated for yourselves…

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