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Are you too embarrassed to haggle?

Are you too embarrassed to haggle?

Category: Money

Updated: 25/02/2016
First Published: 25/02/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

We're often told that the key to securing the best deal on anything from broadband packages to insurance policies is to haggle, but unfortunately, the subtle art of negotiation is something that many of us don't feel comfortable indulging in. In fact, research from TopCashback has revealed that less than a third of us regularly challenge prices, but this could mean we end up paying far more than we need to…

Brits are too bashful

The survey found that, even though 75% of respondents dislike paying the full price for an item, just 30% of consumers regularly negotiate during a purchase. This means that the remaining 70% never or only occasionally haggle, but as a result, they could have missed out on £415 in the past year alone.

Embarrassment is by far the biggest barrier when it comes to haggling, cited by 73% of respondents, while 37% don't try to negotiate for fear that the retailer won't respond well to them challenging the cost. Even those who do take the plunge and try to secure a cheaper deal aren't confident in their ability, with 45% thinking they don't haggle effectively.

"British consumers are renowned for being quite reserved, so it's no surprise self-consciousness often prevents them from challenging the given price," said Natasha Rachel Smith of "However, it's important people don't let this get in the way of them achieving the best possible deal."

Haggling made easy

For those brave enough to take the plunge, the rewards could be worth it. The figures show that 60% of hagglers try to strike up a bargain for big ticket items (such as a car), while 58% look to secure a cheaper price when an item is damaged. Another 74% employ their skills when renewing existing contracts for mobile phones, broadband and TV packages, and 67% do the same with insurance policies, and the savings could well add up.

But just how can you go about it? Well, 73% of successful hagglers ask for things to be thrown in for free, while 56% offer a lower price than the item is worth in the hope that the retailer will meet them in the middle. Other popular tactics to securing a saving include never taking the first offer (52%), offering to pay in cash (30%) and picking quieter times to shop (20%), while 13% of respondents offer to buy items in bulk to reduce prices.

Get a better deal

The survey went on to reveal that 53% of respondents are driven to negotiate because they want to secure the lowest cost possible, while 22% think that if you don't ask you don't get – which, in most cases, is completely true. Failing to ask for a lower price means you're almost guaranteed to be stuck paying the higher price, but if you take the plunge and try to haggle, you may be able to shave a few pounds off your purchase. Besides, what have you got to lose?

What next?

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.