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Cost of living crisis sees more than half of Brits turn to haggling

17th May 2022 Print

Rising costs are forcing Britons to step out of their comfort zone and haggle down the price of everyday goods and services, new research from money-saving website TopCashback reveals.

In fact, as many as six in 10 (64 per cent) consumers admit to haggling more in an attempt to mitigate inflation, with most hagglers having a 39 per cent success rate, saving £155 per person on average.

The research also finds the most popular goods and services Brits tend to haggle for are broadband (59 per cent), phone contracts (55 per cent) and insurance (50 per cent). This is followed by other contracted utility services such as TV packages (37 per cent) and energy (26 per cent), which comes as no surprise as families across the country face record high household bills.

At the same time, haggling with utility suppliers has become much harder – nearly two fifths (37 per cent) of consumers report finding it more challenging to negotiate with providers, especially for energy. Despite this, more than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed, said they attempted to get a better deal on their energy bills ahead of the price cap increase in April and one in 10 (12 per cent) were successful, saving £70 on average.

Although less common, Brits are also attempting to get a discount on items of clothing (21 per cent), food and drink (13 per cent) as well as health and beauty products (9 per cent). With inflation driving sharp price increases on these goods, the number of people haggling on everyday necessities has almost doubled compared to last year.

When it comes to where consumers are haggling for goods, more than half (51 per cent) prefer to try their negotiation skills with online retailers and marketplaces, with eBay being the most fruitful place for hagglers. Markets (39 per cent) and independent shops (32 per cent) are the other two most popular locations to haggle.

The top ten tactics Britons use when haggling for goods and services are:

1 Doing homework into what deals are on offer 50%

2 Using a comparison site to find the best price 49%

3 Threatening to use a competitor 49%

4 Working out the best time to haggle 45%

5 Threatening to leave 41%

6 Building up a rapport first 32%

7 Offering a lower price in the hope of meeting in the middle 30%

8 Haggling online by leaving things in the basket for a while 26%

9 Pretending to walk away if the negotiation isn’t going their way 24%

10 Mentioning issues they’ve previously experienced with the provider/product 23%

Adam Bullock, UK Director of TopCashback said: “With the cost-of-living crisis affecting so many families across the UK, it is little wonder that people are putting their haggling skills to good use as they try to keep their expenses to a minimum.

“It’s reassuring to see that the success rate is so strong, and people are still able to negotiate better deals, especially when it comes to utilities. Of course, not every shopper will be offered lower prices, but it’s worth checking if there are any other perks that can be thrown in such as freebies and vouchers or even free delivery.

“Despite the clear benefits haggling can bring, our study also found that there’s still a small number of people –  a fifths of Brits – who have never haggled, with most people citing embarrassment as the number one reason why. We’d encourage people to try and overcome this, especially in the current financial circumstances. After all, the worst thing that can happen is a retailer says no.”