Last Update on May 5, 2015 // Written by Hank No Comments

Haggling is an important life skill that many Brits just don't learn. Perhaps it's because a lot of people see it as being cheap. Perhaps it's because the British reserve means that most people just don't want to make a fuss. Whatever the reason, if you aren't haggling, you are missing out. My dad is a master haggler. Probably the best example of this is the fact that he managed to marry my mum! But that's another story. He's always looking for a better deal, whether he is on the phone with an electric company or looking for cool new gadgets for his car. And usually, he gets it. In other countries, haggling is part and parcel of daily life. In fact, it is even considered to be bad form if you don't haggle when buying goods in the markets of Morocco. And it isn't just a case of saving money. The 'art of the haggle' teaches you many other things. So, if you are tired of getting ripped off and are looking to get a better deal in almost every area of life, then read on. This guide will tell you exactly why you should learn to haggle, and give you some tips on how to get started. Let's get this show on the road. 1

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1/ It helps you get respect

Many people think that haggling is going to lead to arguments and are worried that if they try it they will appear rude. This is not the case. In fact, haggling is a good way of building up relationships with businesses in your area, and will often lead to you getting new-found respect.   Put yourself in the shoes of whoever you are negotiating with. If they are passionate about what they sell, then engaging them in conversation about the product will be more interesting to them than a simple swipe through the tills. The trick is to set the tone right and make sure you are speaking to the right person. There are some good ideas to follow this up over at  

2/ It can save you big money

  The higher the cost of a product, the more opportunity there is to haggle. There are exceptions, of course. Apple products and games consoles leave retailers with little - or no - wiggle room on the ticket price. But in the right area, you can get major savings. The key to doing it right is to do your research. Learning about the product and teaching yourself about its market competitors can help you identify the areas to target for a price reduction.   Let's take a classic haggling arena as an example: the second-hand car lot. There have been more deals made in this environment than have on the busiest stock trading floors. So, if you go looking for a second-hand motor and come away having paid the full price, then you are doing it all wrong. Look at the sort of car you want to buy first. Find an online used car supermarket and see what kind of prices are being asked for the model that you are interested in. Once you have this figure in mind, you have an instant bargaining tool. You'll soon realise that anything that is sitting on the forecourt that seems overpriced probably is. And you will be able to get that price down.

3/ You can do it almost anywhere

  Part of the British aversion to haggling stems from the fact that many people think they can't get a deal in the many high street stores. While this can be true to an extent, but there are deals to be had if you can grab hold of a manager. Still not convinced you can get money off in a high street store? Then read this article in the Independent, which shows you how it can be done. The reason it works is pretty simple. One key area that all retailers use to judge their success is footfall. This is the amount of people that walk through the doors. Retail analysts measure the amount of footfall against the amount of sales, so shop managers are always under pressure to increase this figure however they can.   You can use this to your advantage in a number of ways, especially if sales have been slow that particular week. Right at the end of the month is always the best time to get a deal, because the shop may need to meet specific targets. Select a few products and see if you can get a small discount for a multi-buy. It might not seem that much, but if you can do this a few times a month, the savings you can make can be considerable.  

4/ It's not just about cash

  Every big ticket item can come with extras. Taking a PC as an example, you can get extended warranties, additional software, games controllers, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It's these items that retailers make much of their profit from, and when you buy them separately there is a significant markup involved. But, as any good haggler will be able to tell you, it's also the areas where they can be more successful.   For computer retailers, the computer itself could well have a fixed price that is set by the manufacturers. They won't make much money from it at all and, therefore, won't be able to give you much of a deal. But if you buy the computer with all those extras we mentioned, you could end up getting a lot of them for free. Haggling is a real art that can be learned by anyone. Starting small and building yourself up to those big ticket prices might help you gain some confidence when you are just starting out. Always remember that if you don't ask, you don't get. So, why not try it out the next time you are in town? A great place to kick off is at your local market stall. Head down at the end of the day and they will almost pay you to take the remains of their stock for the day, particularly if it is perishable goods. And once you start cutting deals with a market trader, you will be well on your way. Happy haggling guys!

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