Donald Trump isn’t the only person who understands the art of the deal.
You can learn it too, and with a little nous and experience you can haggle your way to some great deals wherever you’re spending money.
It might surprise you to learn that you can haggle pretty much anywhere, even the high street shops where price tags feel like the final word.
In fact, they’re often just an opening gambit. You’re well within your rights to haggle and many vendors expect it.
So if you’re feeling brave and you want to save yourself a few quid, here’s a quick guide to haggling to help get you started.
Set a target price
You should know before negotiating what is the most you are willing to spend on an item.
This needs to be realistic too.
Carry out a little market research to find out what the lowest these goods go for in the current market.
Set your target price and work to that. It’ll give you a focus.
Lowball—but not too low
First ask for the lowest price the vendor can do.
If they’re not forthcoming, or ask you to name a price, go lower than your target price.
It gives you a foundation on which to build if they don’t accept and everybody walks away feeling like they’ve done well.
Word of warning: Don’t go too low.
You don’t want to annoy the vendor or need to substantially increase your offer. It calls your bluff.
Stay cool and be polite
Don’t be aggressive or shy. Set a friendly tone and be sincere.
People react well to warmth, especially if you’re a genuine buyer.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re being stitched up by a chancer.
This should be an amicable negotiation.
Give reasons for cutting the price
Equip yourself with justifications for haggling.
If you’ve done market research, perhaps you know there is a better offer elsewhere. Can they beat it?
Play on sympathy—you’ve only got a certain amount to spend.
Perhaps there’s a new model or line coming out soon, so this will become out of date, which is a good reason to discount.
Or maybe a sale period just finished and you missed it. Would they mind selling it at the sale price?
Is there something wrong with this particular product, like a blemish? That should mean money off.
There are all sorts of good reasons to knock prices down. Make sure you have yours prepared.
Bundle deals and bulk buying
If you can’t get them down on price, perhaps you can make your money go further. Would they be willing to throw in some extras?
Perhaps another item for free? Or some insurance? See what they can do.
Moreover, if you can buy in bulk, even better.
It strengthens your position to be buying lots of an item in one go and makes it easier for the vendor to come down in price because you’re clearing stock for them.
Look for someone senior
Find someone on the shop floor who isn’t junior staff.
These people have the authority and the knowledge to offer discounts.
They’ll also likely have some experience of haggling with customers so won’t be fazed by you doing it.
Don’t just settle—walk away
If you’re really not comfortable with the price, or you don’t think the vendor has come down as far as they can but they are being stubborn, don’t just shake hands and settle for it—walk away.
This is your trump card. At the end of the day, the vendor either wants a sale or they don’t. If you’re willing to walk away it might give them that final push they need.