We’re one month into the new year and the financial stress inflicted by the holiday period is starting to fade- people are ready to get out and start buying again. You might find yourself nostalgic over that awesome purchase you made during the Christmas sale – but now that it’s over, do you really have to settle for full price?
Whilst Western culture has marginalised haggling as a buying tool, haggling as a method of price negotiation is a practice that goes back hundreds of years, right back to when people were debating how many chickens a horse was worth!
The Six Principles
Whilst the psychology of haggling is a fascinating topic that would take ages to really get into, Professor Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence succinctly summarises the six main factors to keep in mind when conducting any sort of negotiation:
- Reciprocity: Generally speaking, if somebody feels indebted to somebody, they’ll feel obliged to treat them the same way, perhaps even throwing in a return discount or concession.
- Scarcity: The more limited or difficult it is to acquire something, the more desirable they become.
- Affability: The more you like a person, the more easily you trust and are influenced by them.
- Consistency: People are creatures of habit. Once you’ve purchased or engaged with something, you’re likely to do it again.
- Authority: As members of a lawful society, we find it easier to trust people in positions of authority. This is why the “Doctors Smoke too” ads of the 20th century was so effective.
- Social Proof: If all your peers trust something, odds are you will as well. There’s a feeling of “safety in numbers” and when we find ourselves in doubt about something, it’s probable we’ll use group opinion as a tiebreaker.
With these points in mind, let’s go over a few ingenious haggling tips that will help you keep a strict eye on your personal finances!
- Play the cash game: When buying a particular item, you can always ask for the best price for cash. Most electronic retailers, for example, are more than willing to give a discount for cash.
- Strength in numbers: If you want to buy a pricy item, like a google home, you can band together with your friends and get a discount for buying it in bulk. Who ever said friendship doesn’t pay?
- First time sign-up every time, all the time: Most e-commerce retailers will offer a discount coupon, or a certain % off when you sign up as a new user for an account. If you have the patience, you could just make a new email with every purchase to make sure you get that sweet, sweet discount every time.
- Match that price: If you’re partial to the old brick and mortar in-store shopping experience, you can compare the prices of that same item from a competitor store and ask if the store will price match. Usually they will also provide you with a price match discount too or throw in an extra item/accessory for free.
Hopefully we’ve helped you level up your haggling strategy for the gauntlet ahead. We know that there’s always room for development, so if you feel like you have a haggling lesson to impart on the Pocketbook team give us a holla and shoot your sly tip either here in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.
Good luck, and happy haggling!