This evening I hung out, well, a Google Hangout, with David Edmundson-Bird, a pricing expert from Manchester Metropolitan University, Democracy PR and a lovely bunch of savvy savers! This was in light of webuyanycar’s recent research that if the average Brit negotiated on every possible purchase then their disposable income would increase by an average of 22%. You can see some of the comments from the evening at #wbacacademy.
“You have the legal right to negotiate a price.”
We are always happy to haggle on holiday but we all get a bit shy in the UK. Why is that? If you know you can do it, then that is the biggest hurdle to get over. Here are some of the top tips I picked up from David (mostly paraphrased):
How to save money
Best way to initiate a conversation
My first tip is to be nice and be a nice person; be the person you would want to talk to. There is nothing worse than an aggressive person on the other end of the line; also avoid playing hard. Engage with the other person as an individual and talk to them in a way that stops them feeling defensive. People will ultimately do a good deal with someone they like.
Make sure you do your research and the internet allows for this; be armed with information before you go into a shop or phone up.
It can sometimes help if you go in with someone else, especially if you are on the positive side of the argument. You have to be confident with your language use; try to use positive words and enforcement, avoid using negative phrases that detract the argument.
It is important to know you have a right to negotiate and every product for sale has a margin. Trying to understand that margin is key.
When is the best time to haggle?
At the right times of the year, in the right season, you can drive a reduction of up to 45% with household goods, 35% with holidays and so on. Holidays are sold to demand and the last thing the holiday rep wants to feel is that they can’t sell and they are missing targets. Nearing the end of a season or holiday period is the best time to ask for a discount as they will want to sell.
How far can you push it before people say no?
It is always dependent on circumstances. You have to be prepared to walk away. If you are not prepared to walk away then you have lost your negotiation need. Always haggle on something you are prepared to wait for.
Where can you get the biggest savings?
After a house it is most definitely a car. The timing is key with buying a car; always go in towards the end of the month and after a weekend.
Car insurance sellers have to make the same number of policies month on month. Prices tend to be cheaper in the colder months of October and November. This is your best time to pick up cheaper car insurance deals.
Do not always buy an old banger!
Underwriters think that if you’re buying an old banger you are more likely to be a risk. You’re better off buying a two or three-year old car. There is a lot of research around the cheapest car to insure so look into this.
Is seasonality important for all types of haggling?
Yes it is 100%! Eating out is just the same. Why not arrange a Christmas dinner in January on a Monday or a Tuesday and ask for a reasonable discount. People may ask “aren’t you doing places out of money?” Restaurants and businesses at the end of the day would rather have a full restaurant full of people in January than only one or two customers.
Eating out at lunchtime
Most of the lunchtime trade will have disappeared by 2pm. Go for items that are perishable and suggest subtle discounts or offers.
Holiday season is upon us! Saving money with travel agents
The old way was to turn up with your suitcase at the travel agents and say where can we go in the next six hours! However times have changed.
Do your homework first and find out places you would like to go. Visit the travel agents and see what holidays are moving in the next week. You will find it difficult to negotiate upgrades on flights as aeroplanes are very well-managed these days.
Rather than negotiate a price down, try to upgrade in easier areas i.e. ask to be picked up from the airport to the hotel rather than a coach full of 30 other people. This is a cheeky tip but mention about a honeymoon or wedding and freebies may be chucked in!
Advice for parents – think cleverly. Scottish and UK holidays are timetabled apart so use this to your advantage. Think about targeting where the demand will be lower i.e. booking with a Scottish travel agents.
Another valuable tip is to always be prepared to be flexible with your times of travel.
Saving money with mobile phone networks
This is a saturated market so it always seems easy to move to another mobile phone network company. Whether it is a phone company or something like Sky or Virgin you will find they have whole divisions of people dedicated to keep you as a customer. A gang of people have a budget to keep you there. You can often negotiate a significant reduction on your monthly fee or what you are paying now, as it costs them a lot more to recruit a new customer.
People are typically worried about negotiating but my advice, bite your lip and think I do want to stay and I do like their product(s) therefore I am going to go in and negotiate.
Don’t be negotiating already existing bundles. If a salesman can sell two or three things to you at one time they are saving money (and time).
Buying a house
Never offer the money being asked. Make a carefully crafted offer. A nice odd number will seem as if you’ve carefully worked it out i.e. £247,500. They’ll think they can drag you up another few thousand pounds so bear this in mind with the figure you pitch.
Where is the best place to start haggling?
I would try a mobile phone shop with your contract that is about to expire. This is a good place to start.
Over the phone I would renegotiate with your television or broadband company.
Feeling brave? I would go to a car forecourt. You have nothing to lose, you might feel embarrassed or ashamed to negotiate but the worse thing that can happen is that they say ‘no’.
Look for products that are not selling well and this is your opportunity. Go for it, make an offer!
Tips for haggling
- Psychological skills, videos and tips on webuyanycar academy section.
- Search for tips on haggling online.
- Try it out on holiday this summer. Haggle, haggle, haggle. Make it a bit of fun!
Thanks to David and the other bloggers for some top tips and I will definitely be using a couple of these this year. No doubt to my friends and families dislike or embarrassment…
What are your ultimate money-saving pearls of wisdom?