Haggling can save you money
Time for some more practical money saving advice, this week – haggling. It’s not just for the market.
In fact, haggling with your service providers, utility providers and myriad other companies from whom you purchase stuff and things can save you literally hundreds of pounds across the year.
Indeed, I myself regularly haggle with Sky to get a price that’s equal to, or better than, their new customer deals at the end of each of my contracts, when they indiscriminately hike their prices up.
Granted, haggling doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s often easier than you might think, and indeed, is becoming par for the course with many providers’ prices.
Seriously, if you only ever take one piece of advice from our blog, here at Scottish Debt Help (other than seeking debt advice if you need it – this is massively important and can help you to get back in control of your finances and begin the journey to debt-freedom!), let it be this one. It can save you tons of cash.
How to haggle and save hundreds
In October 2017, Which? surveyed more than 2,000 people to find out about their experiences with haggling over the prices of goods and services they’d purchased and 58% of people reported that they’d received significant discounts by employing this tactic.
To learn how to haggle more effectively, take a look at the following tips to help you get better deals.
So, to bag yourself some massive savings, take a look at our…
10 tips to help you haggle and save hundreds
The thing to remember is that most companies want to keep your custom. So, it’s important to show that you can get what you’re after for less somewhere else, whilst expressing your desire not to leave the provider you’re haggling with, but… and here’s the important bit, demonstrating (politely) that you’re willing to leave if you have to.
Time it right
If you’re in the middle of your contract, it’s likely you’ll have to pay a cancellation or early settlement fee to leave. This isn’t a strong position to negotiate from as it can often be the case that this fee will negate the value of any discount that you’re trying to agree.
It’s usually best to start haggling with your service providers as you come to the end of your contract, as this gives you more leverage when you say you’re going to leave if they don’t drop the price you’ve been offered.
Don’t be rude
This one should go without saying.
When did you ever get what you want by being rude to someone? I’ll hazard a guess that the answer is close to never.
You’re not legally entitled to get discounts, so, if you’re polite and try to build a rapport with the person that you’re speaking to they’re more likely to empathise with you and go further in their efforts to help you out.
Whilst it’s important to be polite, it’s still also important to be firm and be prepared to stick to your guns when threatening to go elsewhere for a better price.
Make sure you talk to the right person
It’s usually the case that certain people and teams, within whichever company you’re speaking to, have more power to offer bigger discounts and better offers.
Make sure that you tell the customer service adviser who’ll usually answer your initial call that you want to leave/cancel.
This will usually get you passed over to a retention team whose sole job is to try to retain existing customers. As such, they’ll usually have the power to offer the bigger discount that you’re after.
If you’re in a shop and haggling in person – over a mobile phone, for instance – then look out for managers and supervisors who usually have more ability to offer discounts than general staff do.
Silence is your friend
This is true in almost any situation, particularly when you’re negotiating. After asking for what you want, stop.
In the ensuing silence, the other party can often feel awkward and therefore compelled to fill the awkward silence that can develop – it’s not unusual that they’ll fill it with an offer. This is the point where your negotiations can begin in earnest.
You’re serious about making the purchase, but… you really will leave
As the now infamous Oasis advert said:
“It’s summer, you’re thirsty, we’ve got sales targets”.
The final point being the important one here. Sales staff have targets to meet. If you make it clear that you want to buy – there and then (but will go elsewhere if necessary) – they’re more likely to offer you a discount to ensure that they’re the beneficiary of you parting with your cash.
Don’t be afraid to leave
Again, you and the person you’re speaking to have the same goal – your cash in their pocket.
It tends to be the party that’s most willing to walk away that gets the deal they’re after. If you’re not offered the deal you want, then don’t worry about going elsewhere as you’ve threatened to.
If you’ve seen a better deal elsewhere (Sky’s new customer offers, compared to the prices they expect existing customers to pay… not that I’m pointing any fingers, here!) then go to the negotiating tale armed with evidence of the better price you’ve seen – particularly if you’re negotiating in person; take the flyer, show them the page on your phone.
As the old adage goes, don’t take a knife to a gun fight.
Be prepared to adapt
It’s not uncommon for the adviser you’re speaking to, to offer you a discount on additional items or throw in free extras.
If you’re getting nowhere asking for money off, try changing tack and asking for something additional for free instead. You might be surprised at what this can achieve.
Point out issues with the product or service
Your broadband speed been significantly lower than the top-end of the promised speed for the majority of the time you’ve had the contract? Point it out, it’s another string to your bow.
In the shop and seen some wear on a display model, or the car you’re looking to buy? Again, point them out. It’s a common tactic when trying to negotiate the display price down.
Use these tips
If you’re still not sure how to get yourself the best deal yourself, use these tips we’ve put together to help you to negotiate. You may be surprised by just how much you can save if you try to negotiate on a few key products like your internet, TV, phone, insurance, utility bills, cars etc. etc.
Don’t forget that a lot of online retailers have online chat services. You can haggle with these too, just by using the same tactics that we’ve run through in this blog.
Give it a try, you can get some big wins.