Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why It Pays to Haggle on the High Street

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why It Pays to Haggle on the High Street

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN PRYNN

THE BRITISH are turning into a nation of hagglers - and it works.

A study today reveals that almost three quarters of shoppers are prepared to bargain for a better price and one in three has successfully managed to save money by haggling in the last six months.

Cars are seen as the best targets for bargaining. Eight out of 10 people say they would never accept the forecourt price without a fight.

Electrical goods are also up for negotiation, according to price comparison website PriceGrabber.co.uk.

Meanwhile, the Evening Standard conducted its own research to see how easy it was to haggle for savings on goods and services. We took an eclectic shopping list to a range of independent and high street shops. None of the businesses surveyed knew that our would-be buyers were reporters. We found that with perseverance and nerve it was possible to save hundreds of pounds from list prices. Our biggest saving was [pounds sterling]1,600 off the advertised price of a Renault Espace people carrier, a five per cent discount.

But, despite the fact that it recently became legal to haggle with taxi drivers rather than pay the metered fare, the cabbies we found would not offer a discount.

Attempting to get a deal on fine champagne also ended in failure.

In percentage terms, the best savings were on electrical items such as DVDs and iPods, with discounts of more than 20 per cent. "I expect people to haggle with me," said one trader.

Our findings backed those published in today's survey by PriceGrabber. It concluded that the average saving-from a successful haggling session was about 12 per cent. Trying to negotiate a discount had a oneinfour success rate.

PriceGrabber's Noemi Kubiak said: "With the popularity of comparison shopping sites and shows like Bargain Hunt on TV it is no surprise that we've woken up to the idea of smart shopping. Britons are really embracing the idea that bargaining is about getting the best value for our money."

The trend is bad news for retailers who have already seen profit margins squeezed by competition and falling sales. …

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