Some people love to haggle and think that every stall holder will offer you a special price if you are persistent and offer to pay cash. The true art of haggling is knowing when to haggle and when to walk away. Most people enter into the haggling phase when abroad and do it as a bit of fun however there are some that do it as a way of life.
Most High Street chain stores, supermarkets and most Internet sites have their set price linked to margins and profit as dictated by Head Office so there is no point wasting time and effort trying to reduce the amount you want to pay.
Markets and Bazar’s are the best places to start haggling, especially when you are abroad. It’s a bit of fun knowing you are getting a little bit off something even if you have spent an hour trying to negotiate a lower price. Most market traders expect a bit of haggling and treat it as a bit of fun, so if you are new to haggling this is the perfect place to start.
Buying a Car
However, once back at home there is one place that a bit of haggling is essential, and that is if you are looking for a new car!
All cars are priced higher than the retailer will realistically accept for it. Most do not expect a customer to pay the full asking price., and their margins have been worked out accordingly. This is especially the case if you purchase a car near to the end of the month and the retailer is chasing his monthly sales target.
Sometimes you may feel the reduction is small compared to the cost of the car but how about asking for accessories or extras if they won’t reduce the price of the car further. What about insurance, roadside assistance, extended warranty? All these items can become part of the negotiation.
If you are buying privately then see how much the seller is prepared to reduce it by. If they are adamant then just walk away and if the car is still for sale in a week or twos time then try contacting them again as they may be more willing to do a deal as time goes on.
Always research similar models on the Internet at sites such as Autotrader so you know the “market price” for a used car.
Knowing your market is important here, little back street dealers will most probably do you a better deal than a main dealership. I know someone who came into a nice amount of money and wanted to get his dream car so he went to the dealership on Park Lane, London and started to try and negotiate. He was asked politely ‘if he wanted the car or not’ basically telling him no deal was to be done. If he had tried a less prestigious location he might have been able to get a better deal.
The House Hunter
One of the scariest things in life is purchasing your own home. The amount it costs and the length of time you are saddled with a mortgage is enough to put anyone off.
If you are a first time buyer or moving on to your next property, you might have a mortgage of 25 years stretching ahead of you, which is a long time. If you struggle to make payments and default on your mortgage you could leave yourself in a terrible financial mess.
Finding your perfect home can become a difficult time especially if you are buying with someone else. Trying to find everything you want in a home, to suit your way of life can be daunting, and needs to be part of your long term plans.
If you are selling your property then look at negotiating a good commission rate with your estate agent from the outset. When the housing market is slow agents will usually do a deal to secure your business.
When you find your ideal property don’t offer the asking price first time round regardless of the advice your agent gives you – remember the agent is on commission so the more you pay the more they earn.
Offering a lower price gives you room for negotiation, should they decline your offer. If you offer only a couple of thousand pounds below the asking price you might find yourself paying nearly the full asking price at the end of the negotiations. Stick to your guns during the negotiating period and be philosophical – if this property is meant to be yours it will be. Don’t get sentimental over something which is not yet yours.
Know when to stop haggling and be prepared to walk away if the seller won’t budge. Likewise, be prepared to give a little if for a very small amount extra you can secure your dream home.
Hotels might be the last place you would think of haggling but if you turn up looking for a room you might get a good deal if they have plenty of vacant rooms.
It’s better to have someone in the room paying a small amount than no one in it at all. As long as the amount you pay covers their cleaning and basic costs you should be able to get a good deal.
However be careful – if you are in the middle of nowhere with no other places to stay around the proprietor might not be willing to offer a lower rate as you have no other options but to stay there.
Another good place to haggle is with traders and handymen such as plumbers, electricians, decorators etc. If they are a one man band and own their business you should ask how much they want to do the job and then ask again if you were to pay cash.
Although this option isn’t legal it goes on throughout the trades and is a way of getting a better rate. If they prefer cash they may just take off the VAT should it go through their books, or something similar.
Like I said before this isn’t a legal way and some tradesmen might be a bit offended if you try and offer cash for a reduction in price. You may also want to try Trust a Trader or Rated People for various tradesmen with reviews and pictures of previous work.
Negotiation and haggling should be fun and no matter how much you get knocked off the asking price you should feel some sense of achievement