Life skills: Learn how to haggle & save some cash

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The price is never the price so make sure you get a bargain

Del Boy Trotter

© BBC

Channel your inner Del Boy and get yourself a deal. Whether you are bartering over vintage homewares at a car boot or renegotiating your mobile phone contract – it's got to be worth a shot.

Those who don't ask
Forget what people think. You are never going to see them again (probably). Does it matter if that guy at the car boot sale thinks you are cheap or annoying? Er, no. Not one bit. And if you are shopping with friends – they are only going to be impressed when you walk away with a bargain, while they pay full price like a chump.

Carry cash
And know where it is. For example, know you have £50 in your wallet, £20 in your right pocket and a tenner hidden in your back pocket for emergencies. You can't haggle and then pull out a wallet packed full of dough.

Know your limit
Have a price in your head that you would be willing to pay for it. Be prepared to walk away if they won't come down and likewise, be prepared to actually pay it. Don't waste time haggling prices down if when it comes to it – you're not fussed.

Make an offer underneath what you are prepared to pay, and then negotiate your way to victory.

Put on your game face
Yes – it may be the most perfect coat hook you have ever seen in your life – but as soon as you show you want it – they've got you. Seem aloof, too cool, and not really that fussed. That way – it's on the seller to give you an incentive and come down to your price.

Not really sure it's what we're looking for
Show it's shortcomings without being disrespectful – if you insult the product too much, the owner won't be fussed to negotiate with you – but a few points about why it is not quite right will help you haggle it down.

Understand the market
If you are going after particular items – do some research first. Do you know how much these products are usually worth for a comparable item? Or if you're looking at second hand objects – what are they worth new and what are people paying for them second hand? A quick Ebay search can often help.

Be nice
Friendly, smiley people are much easier to deal with than aggressive, mean ones. You are not on The Apprentice. That is just a table. Be nice, crack a smile, make some jokes. People are more likely to give you what you want if you are nice about the whole thing.

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