by Lindsay Paterson
- Haggling is hitting the headlines in the U.K., as cash-strapped shoppers look for the best possible bang for their buck. Bargaining is not in their nature — in fact it’s intrinsically very un-British — but spending more than they need to sticks in the throat. Times are hard, and consumers want value for their hard-earned pounds.
- Newspapers and advertising are encouraging consumers with advice: The lofty Telegraph published a guide to haggling in spring 2010, and Omid Djalili’s Moneysupermarket.com TV ads urge British consumers to ignore their “overactive cringe gland” and get haggling.
- Many consumers are enthusiastic about giving it a try, as evidenced by comments on forums on sites like Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.com: “I followed Martin’s tips on haggling in Debenhams. I purchased a set of suitcases and just asked if they could give me a better price. 10% (£28) was knocked off immediately, not even having to seek permission from a supervisor!”
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Cash-strapped consumers are rethinking the rules, and many will no longer simply accept the margins that businesses impose. They know that there is room for manoeuvre, and they are learning the skills they need to negotiate prices down.