How to haggle: a guide

15 January 2015

A guide to help you haggle successfully and save money when you buy goods in the sales.

How to save on your grocery shopping...

Do you plan on splashing out on big ticket items during sale season? Whether you need a new sofa, holiday or car there are techniques you can use to hammer down the price.  

Here we consider four typical purchases and how you can haggle to slash costs:

1. How to haggle for a new car

Car dealers are experienced negotiators, and the discount you can expect is partly dependent on your willingness to use your bargaining power.

Make it clear you’re a serious buyer by presenting your research. This could be evidence of the cheapest deal for a particular model online, or one you’ve seen at another dealership down the road.

Ask for a discount, but if the car dealer is firm and the price seems fair you could consider accessories. The dealer may offer to throw these in, or at least include a free tank of petrol.

If you’re able to wait, the best time of year to buy a new set of wheels is the final few days of each quarter. A lot of dealers are offered bonuses based on quarterly sales, making the end of March, June, September or December a good time to buy.

Find out about Saga Car Insurance...


2. How to haggle for furniture

Pricey items, such as furniture, often have a high mark-up, leaving plenty of room for negotiation. However, your best bet is to approach independent retailers who may be more likely to be open to slashing prices to beat off competition from larger rivals.

Do your groundwork by checking the internet to find the cheapest price on offer. When you visit the store, ask for a senior staff member who is more likely to know about available discounts. Start at, say, 20% off the price and go from there.

Always ask for free delivery if you’d have to pay for this otherwise.

3. How to haggle for electrical goods

Again, search to find the cheapest price and then build a rapport with the salesperson. Ask questions but avoid making it clear you’re a definite buyer. So don’t say your television is broken, so they know you’re desperate for a new one.

Say you are keen to upgrade to a new computer, say, or TV, but want a good deal. Staff in popular chain stores are often working on commission so will be keen to ensure you don’t go elsewhere.

A sneaky option to cut costs is to take out an extended warranty, then cancel within the cooling off period. Typically, staff must sell a number of warranties to meet targets so this gives you a useful bargaining tool.

According to website, stores such as PC World are particularly good for this loophole.

4. How to haggle for holidays

Compare prices in brochures, online and at travel agents, and then call the tour operator and see if a salesperson there can help reduce the cost. You could ask for extras, such as a night in a hotel before your flight, or airport parking.

If you’re booking an independent holiday, pick up the phone and speak to the hotel owners. This could swing the price in your favour, or they may offer a room upgrade.

How to find a cheap holiday...
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.