Saturday, May 16, 2009

If you don't ask, you don't get! - Learn how to Haggle

There has been lots of talk about Haggling and I am a firm believer in asking for money off/a discount but you usually need to choose your retailer/supplier carefully.
My first experience of asking for money off was 10 years ago when my husband was buying my Engagement ring. There we were, in a posh City Jewellers with the chosen ring being wrapped up, when my future husband said "how much for cash!". To say that I was horrified was an understatement, I thought it was only Gypsies that did this sort of thing! I was even more surprised when the shop assistant walked off to talk to the Manager and came back and said "we can take £250 off, Sir". Bloody hell - unbelievable! I walked back to work and one of my colleagues said "you look pale and shaky" to which I replied "I think I am engaged and we just got £250 off the ring".
After the ring episode, I began to get my head around asking for a discount and began to choose carefully where I bought items from, especially expensive things such as furniture and white goods.
If you buy a sofa from House of Fraser you are unlikely to get a discount, but for our suite, we went to our local furniture shop and asked for the exact suite we had seen in House of Fraser, got them to come back to us with a price and then said "how much for cash". We ended up getting the suite for £1,500 less than the HOF price.

I have also bought a T.V., Washing Machine and Tumble Dryer from a small local independent retailer rather than using Currys or Comet and each time, have got a discount for cash.

Remember that for card transactions, retailers do have to pay charges just to take your money, so will always prefer to take cash as a form of payment, so it is always worth withdrawing the money in cash, from the Bank, than just to hand over your debit card.

When looking for discounts on Clothes Shopping, seek out small independent Boutiques. You can always find these by checking out the websites of your favourite clothes brands and looking up their list of stockists. To get a good discount, make yourself seen in the shop often, become a familiar face even if you don't always buy. If you see something you like, ask if they will take a deposit and see if they will allow you to pay off items which means you will go in often. Enquire about a mailing list and ask to be put on it, if they have one. This will give you information regarding new season previews and discount shopping evenings. Small independents are more likely to struggle during a recession, so are more likely to offer a discount, than lose a sale. Always remember the mark up for adult clothing is usually 2.5 across the board, so you can work out how much profit someone is making on each garment. If you are buying a couple of things that come to £120, I really can't see the harm in saying "Will you take a £100" they may say "No I will accept £110" but you will still have saved £10.

Always bear in mind that if an Independent Boutique stocks Lipsy for example and so does House of Fraser and they have a sale on, never be afraid to ask if they can match the Department store sale price and if they can't, then buy it from the Department store. Build a good relationship with the shop owner or manager and avoid shopping when Saturday girls are working as they won't usually have the authority to give money off. If you find a lovely shop that doesn't stock your favourite brand, it may be worth asking if they would consider getting it in for next season. If they think you are going to spend good money on it, they may well look at it when they next go buying.

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