How to negotiate

Saving money when buying products always provokes a positive feeling and consumers should be aware that they can probably secure bargains more frequently than they think.

What items are up for negotiation

First the bad news: you will be wasting your time trying to negotiate at the checkout of your local supermarket. Other than that most shops will negotiate on products that are slightly damaged, shop soiled or end of line. Not everyone in the shop will have the power to negotiate. If you sense you are getting nowhere, ask to see the person who has the authority to give you a discount.

Negotiate on electical goods, jewellery

When shopping for items - whether it is electrical goods or jewellery for example - there is always an opportunity to negotiate.

Negotiate a cheaper car

Big-ticket items such as motor vehicles often provide the best opportunities to grab a bargain - there is certainly scope for bartering when heading to a dealer to buy a used car. In fact, the salespeople are generally trained in how to negotiate so will be expecting you to make an offer. Finally, make sure the price agreed includes twelve months road tax, a full tank of petrol and anything else you fancy.

Don't forget to negotiate on the car finance deal too. Both the APR and the admin charges are subject to negotiation. Read our car finance guide to help you go prepared.

Property negotiation

When it comes to property, negotiation is also a key part of the buying process.

It is rare that homes in the UK are sold for their original asking price, which means the price advertised in the newspaper, online or in the estate agent's window should be used as a guide and not a rule.

Talk to a property professional to get some tips on how to negotiate, or seek information from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which releases regular updates on the average difference between asking and selling property prices in the UK.

Car boot sales

Always negotiate at car boot sales. It's a no brainer.

Negotiation tips and techniques

How to negotiate is often the tricky part, but you should remember that if you are buying a product you are in the position of power and should be confident about making requests to the shop assistant. Negotiation is a skill that gets better with practice.

  • Paying with cash is often a method that will help convince a vendor to reduce the price of goods, so this is definitely something to bear in mind when thinking about how to negotiate.
  • Don't talk up the product or tell them you are going to buy it. It is too late to ask for a discount after you have already said you will have it.
  • Be prepared to walk away to see if they will call you back. If they don't call you back you can always walk back in the shop and say you have changed your mind.
  • Come armed with competitor prices and ask them to beat their competitors
  • Shop at the end of the month. Sales managers are under pressure to increase monthly sales figures. If they havent done so well you could be their last chance to obtain an extra sale.
  • If buying in bulk or more than one expensive item, use this as a reason to warrant a discount.
  • Go in the shop just before closing time. Does not always work but if discounts are available the time taken to get them will be less. Going in a chip shop or bakery before closing time is an easy way to a cheap meal.

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Updated on 11th August, 2009

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