As a mother who enjoys saving money, I like to haggle and shop wherever I go. There is nothing to be embarrassed or be ashamed of. The fact is very practical. I do not have unlimited resources for everything I want. I need to be careful of money. I need to care about if it is really what I need. It is very natural and a skill that you should learn.

Imagine one day you go to a traditional market and you’ll find a lot of different prices in many small merchants. I wonder if it ever occurred to you the question of why their prices are different. At a flea market, the feeling is even stronger. You have no idea of what is standard to set a price. If it is too high and you do not haggle, you would pay more than you should accidentally. Maybe you would say: “It is OK” because you know that the owner of the merchant wants to make some money. Maybe you do not care about it because it is just small money. Maybe you think you are a man who should not have done it. It is all pretty normal and takes practice to make it work. Some people are good at it while some people are not.

Define the meaning of haggling

In the dictionary, to haggle means that you attempt to decide on a price or conditions that are acceptable to the person selling the goods and the person buying them, usually by arguing. The reason why you would do that is very clear to save some money. It is very natural for everyone to do that. There is nothing wrong about it. You do not have to consider it to be impolite or rude.

Remember, the price tag is just to show what the seller wants to sell in the first place. Nobody says that it has to be the final price to be sold. As long as the seller agrees to sell and you agree to pay, the final price is up to you both.

Is there the best time and the best place to haggle?

Let me tell the answer straightforward: No. There is no rule to limit you to do that. There is nobody to stop you from haggling. You have so many deals all your life including little money to a lot of money. You can practice it anytime and anywhere you want. You can learn from your mistakes and errors. You would find when or where you would succeed to have a better price.

For example, at the flea market, it is a better place for you to haggle. The owner is usually right over there and can decide if he wants to lower the price. Usually, the first deal of a day would be a better opportunity to haggle because the owner wants to have a good start. At the off-peak hours or the closing time, the owner is more willing to bargain as well. Another good opportunity to get a cheaper price on seasonal products like Christmas trees and heavy coats. Online shopping, the price is usually fixed and you can hardly negotiate via emails. Certainly, there is an exception like promotion and sales to have a lower price. Check out how haggling helps you save money!

17 Top Tips Help You Haggle Effectively and save you a fortune

Maybe you are new to haggle. Maybe you would like to learn how to haggle. Maybe you practice haggling a few times but you seldom succeed. It is all right and takes practice. Just be open-minded and see how things go.

  1. Do not be shy

  2. Compare online in advance

  3. Do not wear fancy clothes

  4. Be polite and friendly

  5. Do not rush

  6. Be a regular customer

  7. Talk to the key man

  8. Do not show how much you want it

  9. Do not reveal your bottom line

  10. Act like local people

  11. Just a game

  12. A showtime

  13. Ask for more discounts

  14. Ask for more freebies or upgrades

  15. Bulk buying

  16. Search for defective goods or clearance of goods

  17. Show me the money

Here are more details to help you:

  1. Do not be shy

Whenever or wherever you would like to haggle, try to be bold and act naturally. You have to look confident and seem to know a lot about the product you would like to buy. No matter how shy you are or how less you know about the product, you cannot let the seller know. You need to establish an image of a pro. You need to send a message that nobody can fool you. If you are not sure about it, you can try to act in front of a mirror or record it to see if it needs any improvement.

  1. Compare online in advance

Before you go shopping, try to compare several similar products to find out which one is cheaper. You can know more about the price range and product features. You would know which product features you need most or care most. You would know when you are taken advantage of and if the price is too high. If you know what you are talking about, you would usually get a better deal. The merchant owner would not ignore you easily.

  1. Do not wear fancy clothes

If you go shopping at the flea market or traditional market, make sure that you do not wear fancy or luxurious clothes. If you look rich, you can hardly get a better price. Just wear normal clothes and bring normal bags to help you make it.

  1. Be polite and friendly

Most of the time, the shop owner or the merchant seller is polite and nice. On the one hand, that is what they should do to close a deal. On the other hand, they also want to be treated politely and nicely back. Never think that money makes you more superior than others. Never think that money allows you to talk louder than others. Everyone wants to have a pleasant shopping experience including the shop owner or the salesman. There is no need to be impolite. Simply behave like a civilized and well-educated man which is good for you all.

  1. Do not rush

Be patient when you haggle. It takes time to get what you want. If the seller would like to cut prices to sell, spend time haggling. If he refuses to sell at lower prices, do not waste your time and find the next one.

  1. Be a regular customer

Nobody would say “No” to a nice and regular customer. If you often go to a shop, it is very possible to establish a good relationship with the shop clerk. If you often talk to the salesman and ask him questions, it is very likely you would become friends. It is very likely that the salesman would treat you well and give you a discount. It is harder for him to refuse your request like any discount.

  1. Talk to the key man

When you walk into a store, sometimes there are many customers and salesmen. It is very true that you would like to have a good deal and get a cheaper price. You need to find the right salesman who is authorized to offer you a lower price or a discount. Not all salesmen have the authority to do that. You need to find out who is in charge and is more senior than others. That does help you get what you want and close the deal.

  1. Do not show how much you want it

If you would like to buy something desperately, do not show it on your face. Try to walk around and look for something. Try to show your poker but friendly face. Try to start a harmless conversation to gather useful information. Try to find out any chance to get a cheaper price unconsciously. Never show the desire that you must have it which decreases the possibility to get a discount or a freebie.

  1. Do not reveal your bottom line

Before you go shopping, tell yourself how much you can accept it. Set up a price range or a reasonable price. Do not let salesmen tell you what to do or what to buy. If they feel that you are easy to talk to, you can hardly get a good deal. If they ask you how much you would accept to close the deal, do not tell them the exact amount. If they know how much you are willing to pay, they would certainly not lower the price.

  1. Act like local people

People travel very often now. If you go to a new market or store, do not show that you go there for the first time. If the seller finds out that you are new, you would probably pay more. Try to act and talk like local people. Or try to ask another customer about how much the product usually costs. Or try to contact your local friend to get useful information. Or invite your friend to go with you. Then the product would not cost you a fortune. 

  1. Just a game

Consider it just a game. You can play hard to get. You can pretend that you are less interested in the product. Then the seller would like to cut prices to close a deal. It is a good trick, especially at the start of haggling. 

  1. A showtime

You can even pretend to have a discussion with your family or friend who goes there with you. Or you can pretend to call out for a second opinion. After a few minutes, you tell the seller why you do not buy it unless you get a discount or something else. Actually, it is just a show.

  1. Ask for more discounts

If you are not sure how much lower the price would be, you can just go ahead and ask. If you think that a 10-15% discount would be perfect, you can just ask for a 20-25% discount to see the owner any response from. Normally, you would not get it. Normally, the owner would say 5-10% discount in return. You show your will to purchase and the owner wants to sell. Through this process, you would realize where the bottom is.

  1. Ask for more freebies or upgrades

Sometimes the price is fixed and hard to get a discount. Maybe it is because the margin is little. Maybe the merchant is forbidden to decide the price. However, there is something else you can ask for: freebies and upgrades like insurance and warranty. For example, you purchase a high-end cellphone which price is fixed. You can ask the merchant clerk to give you any freebies. Or you can ask the seller to see if you can buy the cellphone accessories like a screen protector, smartphone case, portable charger, and insurance at lower prices. Or you can ask the salesman to extend your warranty period.

  1. Bulk buying

If you would like to buy the toilet paper for the whole year, you can talk to the merchant and try to get a special price. If you gather a group of people to buy a certain product like computers, you can talk to the merchant to cut prices. Usually, the more you buy, the most discounts you get. Remember, unity is strength.

  1. Search for defective goods or clearance of goods

You would find defective goods or clearance of goods sometimes. It is very common that a new product gets dirty after it is touched by many customers. It happens that a new product is covered with dust because it is put outdoors and exposed to the sun and wind. The merchant worker would accidentally hit the product package. These all make defects like a scratch or a stain. If you would like to buy it which has any defect or clearance of goods with normal function, you can ask the seller and buy it at a low price.

  1. Show me the money

If you go to a store, you show the store owner the money – cash. He would open the eyes happily. He knows that you would like to buy. He knows that he does not have to pay the credit card transaction fees. He knows that he does not have to wait for 30 days or more to get money in his bank account. If you bargain with him, he is more willing to accept it.

Simply ask for it. There is no harm. It does not mean anything. The worst you can get is the original price. The best you can get is to save you a lot of money. Just give it a try and enjoy it.

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