Are you too bashful to barter for goods?

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Shoppers are missing out on the best deals because they are too bashful to barter.

A massive 73 per cent of residents in Yorkshire and the Humber said they would never (or only occasionally) haggle for an item, even though 76 per cent admitted that they would dislike paying the full amount for it.

The survey by revealed that buyers could be spending £277 a year more than they need too because of their failure to negotiate.

The research also looked at the reasons behind why shoppers won’t barter.

The main reason was cited as embarrassment (79 per cent), but a third also said they did not ask for fear that retailers would not take kindly to them challenging the cost, while a further 46 per cent would not be confident in their ability to be a good haggler.

Natasha Rachel Smith, consumer affairs editor for, said: “British consumers are renowned for being quite reserved, so it’s no surprise self-consciousness often prevents them from challenging the given price.

“However, it’s important people don’t let this get in the way of them achieving the best possible deal.”

Shoppers who are brave enough to barter said the reason was not because they couldn’t afford the item otherwise. 53 per cent said they were driven by securing the lowest cost possible while 21 per cent believe in the mindset that people who don’t ask, don’t get.

Unsurprisingly, most buyers (56 per cent) feel more comfortable about haggling while on holiday while 76 per cent would barter over a big cost item such as a car, and 54 per cent would try and get the cost reduced for a damaged item.

48 per cent employ their negotiation skills when renewing existing contracts for mobile phones, broadband and TV packages, and 57 per cent do so when buying insurance policies.

Miss Smith said: “Our research sheds light on the tactics hagglers use to guarantee a cut-price deal, which we can all learn from. Those who are more reluctant or nervous of negotiating money off should practise in situations where it’s a bit easier, such as on holiday or perhaps when renewing phone or internet contracts.

“You can also take advantage of environments where it’s more expected to negotiate on prices, such as car dealerships or markets.

“Regardless of whether you haggle or not, it’s worth doing your homework to ensure you always get the best price.

“You can also pretty much always find voucher codes and high cashback offers to save you money without even having to ask.”


1. Ask for things to be thrown in free.

2. Research retailers and their deals beforehand.

3. Never take the first offer.

4. Offer a lower price than you think it is worth and the retailer might meet you in the middle.

5. Build up a rapport.

6. Offer to pay in cash.

7. Pretend to be disinterested.

8. Pick quieter times to shop.

9. Offer to buy in bulk.

10. Use the good cop / bad cop routine.