How to haggle - tips for negotiating a better deal

It’s a fact: haggling doesn’t come naturally to everyone. There might be a hundred reasons why you don’t haggle on big purchases, or on things like your credit cards, home loan or insurance or NBN  plan - you may think it’s embarrassing, or not worth the time, or maybe you just don’t know where to start.

Well, that’s why Mozo has rounded up some of the top tips for negotiating a better deal. Try these ten things next time you’re about to make a big spend and you’ll be haggling like a pro in no time!

Top tips for haggling and price negotiating like a pro

1. Pick the right moment

Something many people don’t consider is that you’ll have better luck negotiating a deal at certain times than at others. If you’re haggling in store, don’t go at the busiest time of day - a salesperson is more likely to cut you a deal when they have time to consider what you’re asking for and what they can do about it.

If you’re haggling over something like insurance premiums or home loan rates, time of day is less important, but you still need to time your negotiations carefully. Asking for a better deal in the middle of a fixed term might mean paying early termination fees - you’ll be in a better position to negotiate when your contract is up for renewal.

2. Head straight to the top

There’s no point badgering the newest sales assistant in the room for a big discount - chances are, they aren’t allowed to give it to you.

You’ll have much better chances of snagging a good deal talking to a manager, a designated customer service line or even the retention team (it’s their job to stop you taking your business elsewhere. Cutting deals is what they do.) They’ll likely be the people with the most power to get you what you want.

3. Mind your manners

Remember: haggling is a negotiation, not a battle. The person you’re negotiating with is just that - a person - and they don’t want to be yelled at or talked down to. So if you stay calm, pleasant and friendly when you ask for a better deal, the salesperson will be much more likely to want to help you out.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay firm and direct during your haggling encounter - just remember what your mother used to tell you: you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

4. Know the competition

One of the best ways to get a great deal from a company is to tell them you found a better one elsewhere. Before you even think about haggling, check out the competition and find out what they’ve got on offer - this is where comparison sites like Mozo come in.

Of course, for this to work, you really do have to have found a better deal, and it’s always better if you can prove it with a screenshot from your mobile, a brochure or a quote.

5. Know what you’re comparing

You wouldn’t expect to get the same deal on a brand new Maserati as you would on a secondhand Toyota, right? Of course not. Because even though they’re both cars, they’re not really the same product at all.

If you’re going to use the tactic above - bringing in a quote from the competition - then make sure it’s a comparable offer as well. This is especially important on things like car insurance or home loans, which might come with a bunch of features you may not have considered when comparing products.

6. Think outside the box

Say you’re trying to negotiate a lower premium on your car insurance, but your insurer won’t budge. Don’t give up yet! It doesn’t mean you can’t get a better deal. If your initial goal isn’t possible, rethink your approach and consider other perks and incentives that might sweeten the deal.

Ask them about throwing in extras - in the case of car insurance, this could mean things like roadside assistance or a higher no claims discount.

7. Bundle products

You can sometimes snag a big discount if you’ve got other products you can bring with you to a deal. For example, you could knock your home loan interest rate down by bundling it with a credit card, term deposit or home and contents insurance.

You can try a variation of this in retail shops as well. See if they can do you a deal when you buy a number of things at once - maybe think about any accessories your purchase will need.

8. Don’t settle for the first deal

The first deal you’re offered will rarely, if ever, be the best deal, so persistence is key. Don’t be pushed into a sale before you’re satisfied with the deal you’re getting.

If the person you’re speaking to insists they can’t do anything more for you, you may need to ask to speak to someone more senior, but don’t forget to be polite when you do it!

9. Zip your lip

You know those long, awkward silences just begging to be filled? They can be a haggler’s best friend. When you’re given an offer, take a moment to mull it over in silence - the salesperson will often jump in to offer you something better if they think your silence is hesitation.

It’s also sometimes better to ask open ended questions, like ‘What can you do for me?’ or ‘Is there a better deal?’ - that way, you won’t accidently ask for less than you can get

10. Put your walking boots on

Going into a negotiation, it’s important to know what the minimum you want to get out of it is, and be ready to walk away if you don’t get it. Let the salesperson know that you’re willing to take your business elsewhere if they can’t do a better deal than the competition.

By having this in the back of your mind, you’ll also give the impression of being serious about the purchase and confident about haggling a better deal - even if you aren’t.

Help! What do I say when haggling?

Want to try your hand at haggling but not sure where to start? No problem! You’ll never be tongue-tied again thanks to our handy haggling scripts.

Just click on the one you need below for a step by step run-through of what you can say to secure a better deal.