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Bargain-hunting Brits haggle to keep costs down

22 September 2013

Hagglers succeed in getting money off 89% of the time!

Over half (53%) of Brits have haggled with retailers or service suppliers to bag a bargain on a range of items from new vehicles to furniture and mobile phones to cosmetics.

A study of 2,000 UK adults revealed that 89% of those gutsy enough to ask for a discount, free extras or add-ons were successful in their negotiations.  In addition to haggling to save money (31%), many people (37%) believed that it was a buyer's market, with many retailers and other suppliers prepared to strike a deal in order to make a sale, so they'd be mad not to haggle.

While a third of Brits said they were never afraid to try and ask for a better price, 32% were too embarrassed by the idea of haggling in a shop, while one in ten said that they didn't haggle because they were worried it would make them look cheap.

The survey, commissioned by price comparison website Gocompare.com, found that cars and motorbikes topped the list of goods and services Brits had successfully haggled over, followed by electrical products and furniture:


Goods or service bought



Car or motorbike



Electrical goods and gadgets






Mobile phone



Carpets or flooring






Building work



Clothes or shoes






Car service


Successful hagglers took the following approaches in negotiating a deal:

  • 55% were prepared to walk away from a sale
  • 51% asked for money off goods with minor faults
  • 45% asked for a cash discount
  • 44% asked for a discount when they were buying more than one item from the same store
  • 39% researched the product or service they were buying and then suggested a fairer price
  • 29% asked for additional free items to be included in the sale
  • 28% reminded suppliers that they were loyal customers

Car boot sales (66%) were the best place to haggle, followed by market stalls (62%), independent retailers (53%), national retail chains (19%), regional retail chains (17%) and online retail sites (11%).

Claire Peate, Gocompare.com's customer insight manager commented: "Our survey suggests that in the current tough economic climate, many people are putting aside their British inhibitions and are successfully haggling for an array of products and services.  

"Like any other successful negotiation, being prepared and doing your homework is the key to success and, thanks to the internet, it's never been easier to compare products and prices to hunt down the best deals.  And, you might be surprised by how many retailers and service suppliers are prepared to make you an offer to keep your custom."


Notes to editors:

On 9th to 12th August 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,001 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.