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Started by uranrising on Aug 30, 2019 6:17:18 PM
Haggling. When you can and can't.

What can you haggle over when buying, what can you not haggle over under any circumstances, and what might be possible to haggle over or might not?

Share your haggling experiences, tips and expertise (and fears?) here.

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pranzingfrogg - 02 Sep 2019 21:45:40 (#1 of 71)

I suppose when house hunting, offering lower than the asking price is a form of haggling. I managed to get a couple of grand off the asking price of my first flat, mainly because the vendors were clearly desperate to shift it - they’d already moved out and were presumably paying two mortgages.

CarlosFandango - 02 Sep 2019 21:48:36 (#2 of 71)

There's a difference between haggle and negotiate.

HouseOfLametta - 02 Sep 2019 21:50:13 (#3 of 71)

Haggling can only be done in a hat.

Dubris - 02 Sep 2019 21:51:49 (#4 of 71)

Can you haggle in a chainstore? I'd have thought not: the checkout assistant at Tesco won't negotiate on the price of your can of peaches in syrup.

Delighted_User - 02 Sep 2019 21:54:14 (#5 of 71)

It's fun to do it with train tickets. No, I didn't say it worked. I said it was fun.

But it's even better to walk up to the counter and ask the person behind it what destinations they would recommend at the moment.

fatnorville - 02 Sep 2019 21:57:28 (#6 of 71)

If you want to haggle, you need to haggle with someone who has the authority to set the price. A checkout assistant does not have this authority, but a manager may have this authority.

Incidentally the one exception to this is in the event that the tills fail. The store will want to keep money flowing into the store, so staff will be allowed to haggle the price of a basket or trolley full of goods....at least that was.my experience as a schoolboy checkout assistant in the 90's.

YorenInTheNorth - 02 Sep 2019 21:58:09 (#7 of 71)

I just can't do it. I'll always pay the sticker price.

Was in my corner shop and the shopkeeper could see I was debating what beer to buy and he offered a deal. I pretended I didn't hear him and paid the sticker price.

That is my haggling story.

widenation - 02 Sep 2019 21:59:53 (#8 of 71)

Independent shops probably worth a go if you're buying a number of items (eg furniture/garden stuff). I've never really haggled at an independent garage, other than 'there's a set of spark plugs in the glove box - if you could fit those while you're at it' etc.

Dubris - 02 Sep 2019 22:00:37 (#9 of 71)

I'm another hopeless haggler. I was in an antique shop with a friend who can haggle and she was clearly disgusted that I paid the ticket price for an item. My reasoning was that the price seemed reasonable and if it had seemed too much then I wouldn't have bought it and the shop owner would have lost the sale completely.

foghorn - 02 Sep 2019 22:02:38 (#10 of 71)

Been genuinely disgruntled about paying full price for things that are less than perfect in supermarkets. Fresh produce I've needed for something and got the last one, dented tins, damaged packets etc. Discovered that they are perfectly happy to give me discount if I mention it. Nowadays I'll pick them out if they are being used soon or it doesn't matter and get me some half price action.

No natural talent. Just tight.

TommyDGNR8 - 02 Sep 2019 22:04:36 (#11 of 71)

But it's even better to walk up to the counter and ask the person behind it what destinations they would recommend at the moment.

I have a fond memory of my old mum taking me into Glasgow as a 12 year old to try out the newly refurbished subway.

"I'd like to take the laddie for a run," she said to the ticket guy, "what do you suggest?"

"A perr a gutties, hen*," came the reply.



*"A pair of sandshoes, madam."

popstar7 - 02 Sep 2019 22:05:56 (#12 of 71)

Stuff that's already on sale is the best place to pick up bargains. Clothes, white goods, TVs etc. If it's on sale, they want it out of the shop.

I used to teach negotiations, btw.

hailesaladdie - 02 Sep 2019 22:07:12 (#13 of 71)

My Dad is a remarkable haggler. I have a very fond memory of him trying to haggle in a discount electrical shop, in France, in very dodgy French, and finally managing to get to assorted extras thrown in. It was a strange world of SÉCAM, so we appreciated it all.

YorenInTheNorth - 02 Sep 2019 22:09:10 (#14 of 71)

I've had people try to haggle the charges were I work. We work out what people pay towards social care.

"Let's call it a fiver". "The bill is £20 sir".

The oddest one nearly ended up with the FBI involved.

Someone in the US refused to pay a bill then started trying to haggle. I rebuffed that at which point he says if we sent bailiffs after him (the probability of that being 0%) they might get shot by private security.

I pointed out that being British I knew he must be joking but then asked, in his experience, how would the FBI react to "jokingly" threatening to shoot people. He, shall we say, became cooperative.

A slightly extreme attempt at haggling there.

widenation - 02 Sep 2019 22:16:25 (#15 of 71)

Sightseeing things where they put on tea and cakes or whatever (top of tower etc) and you just want to go and take some photos, I'll generally haggle.

hailesaladdie - 02 Sep 2019 22:17:53 (#16 of 71)

I used to work at WHSmith (weekend job with bouts of full time). This was when they were still popular. We would discount quite a lot of stuff, especially books with battered covers, or anything ex-display.

(We'd also enjoy people coming up to us with obviously swapped price tags - yes, it was when we had price tags on stuff - telling us we had to sell it at the lower price. We didn't.)

Anyway, we were told to remind customers that anything damaged and discounted was sold "as seen". The universal response? "Big end gone, is it?"

Dubris - 02 Sep 2019 22:19:26 (#17 of 71)

But I like to know what I'm going to pay. If the price says £20 but you'll actually take £15, why not just tell me that in the first place?

Fear of rejection and looking stupid and/or tight may very well be in action here.

widenation - 02 Sep 2019 22:23:23 (#18 of 71)

You need to watch Salvage Hunters etc. They'll let something go for £15 if they suspect you'll become a repeat customer. If not, it's £20. I guess the same works for illicit drugs.

hailesaladdie - 02 Sep 2019 22:23:44 (#19 of 71)

I've also been the victim of reverse haggling, trying to get a minicab home from Archway on New Years' morning. I think I still drank at that point. We'd been at some godforsake part of Kentish Town, and someone reckoned we would get a cheaper fare by walking much further from where we were going because Camden. Made sense at the time.

Same person had a unique take on haggling.

"How much to Brixton, mate?"

"Mmm. Tonight, I reckon that'll be £40."

Resigned faces all round.

"£35 do you?"

"Yeah, alright, £35."

"OK, OK. £45."

"Well yeah, I'll do £45."

"Right, £50, but I can't go much more than that".

The guy woke up the next morning complaining about bruises on both his shins.

carterbrandon - 02 Sep 2019 22:31:39 (#20 of 71)

I was once behind two Asian girls in the queue at M&S's jewellery counter, who wanted to haggle. The poor assistant was quite traumatised.

I tell you what I did not like. The time I tried to sell something on Gumtree. I established a fair price, subtracted 20%, then advertised it. Five fucking times people agreed to buy, then after 'shaking on it' tried to offer even less. Maybe they didn't understand (I don't care) but I gave the fucking thing away on Freecycle in disgust, and told them so, rather than give them the satisfaction of what they'd call a victory. I didn't need the money, and the least I could do was deny them what they wanted.

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