Seven slick sales pitches to watch out for - and avoid

Marc Lockley / 04 February 2014 ( 03 March 2017 )

Flattery, urgency and a focus on commission are all part of the salesperson's armoury - and, as such, something it's sensible to be wary of.



Here are seven top sales lines used to persuade us to spend, which remind us to take a step back before parting with our cash.  

'Would you like to extend your warranty?'

As you approach the checkout, the salesperson sees their opportunity to earn more commission. They embark upon a mission to highlight negative issues potentially associated with your product: faulty parts, failing machines and those all-expensive labour costs that make you wonder why you’re buying the product in the first place. 

However, they reassure you help is at hand with their wonderful extended warranty, often a third or more of the actual price of the product. But a recent survey by Which? suggests that in reality we rarely call upon the expensive warranties and we also have certain rights under the Sales of Goods Act to return a product if it develops a fault.

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'We only have three left...'

In many instances this is a ploy to get you to buy immediately. Unless this is a limited edition or discontinued item, you can be reasonably sure it will re-appear on the shelf or online fairly soon.

Find out about your shopping consumer rights

'Have you considered this model instead?'

This can be a genuinely helpful line, but it is sometimes used because the salesperson is given a reward for selling a particular make or model.

'Sale ends Feb 28th’

When isn’t there a sale in some furniture, kitchen and sofa stores?

Keep your eyes out for known offenders, and never rush in to buy simply because something is on offer – what was ‘Fantastic February offers’ will likely become the ‘Mad March sale.’ 

You: ‘Can you offer a discount?’ Salesperson: ‘It’s already a great price’

This retort often puts off novice bargain hunters; however what the salesperson hasn’t said is ‘no.’ Tell them if they accept £X you will buy now.

12 ways to get a discount when shopping online

'We have this special polish to go with those shoes'

When at the counter, sales assistants are encouraged to 'upsell' us products.

Ask yourself two questions: Do I need it? And can I purchase it for cheaper elsewhere?

'I’ll call my boss to see if there's anything we can do.'

Primarily seen with some door-to-door salespeople. A call is made to the office, often in front of you. A verbal battle ensues with the ‘boss’ on the end of the phone, the salesperson fighting your corner for greater value.

They get off the phone and amazingly the price has now dropped by 30, 50 or even 70%. 

Ask yourself the question, how genuine can the original price have been if at the drop of a hat they can reduce a price by such an amount?

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.