Many British people think haggling is limited to holidays abroad where it’s the norm. But have you ever tried haggling on a busy UK high street? Discover how you can save money easily!


What you’ll read in this article:


  • Why Brits find it hard to haggle
  • The best high street shops to haggle with
  • Tips for successful haggling
  • More general savvy shopping tips
  • Conclusions

You’re losing money by not haggling on the high street

British people have a reputation for being polite. That’s great – until it comes to losing easy money. The small discounts that you can get on the high street, even if only for 10%, can soon add up. Over the course of a month’s shopping it could mean the difference in needing payday loans from a direct lender with no credit check or not!

You would be surprised how many chain retail stores that you probably shop at offer discounts. But you need the guts to ask. One former employee of a major UK DIY retailer told Martin Lewis that she had been instructed by her boss to give anyone who asked a 10% discount!



What stores are open to a bit of friendly haggling?

Recently, the MoneySavingExpert team carried out a survey. They asked 1400 of their readers to share the shops that they had had the most success in when they asked for reductions in the ticket price. Some of their readers reported 60% success rates in well-known stores such as John Lewis, Tesco and Homebase. Here’s what their readers found in big chain retailers where more than 30 people attempted to haggle for a discount:

Shop Success rate asking for a discount
Carphone Warehouse 77%
TK Maxx 74%
John Lewis 72%
Homebase 68%
Tesco 62%
B&Q 60%
Currys/PC World 59%
Debenhams 55%
Clarks 47%
M&S 39%

It’s clear asking for a discount in chain retail stores is defiantly worth having a try. The survey also showed that 97% of shoppers who has requested independent retailers for a discount received one.

Look confident

In order for a person to take notice of you and consider your proposal you will need to hide the cringing, embarrassed inner-you behind a confident cheery persona. If the salesperson likes you they will be more likely to give you what you are asking for so make sure you approach them in a humorous, friendly and above all polite manner. Being forceful and aggressive will put the salesperson off and influence an adverse decision from them. The best person to speak to who will have some authority is a supervisor or an under manager as opposed to a teenager on the till.

So what have we learned so far?


  • Many Britons are too shy and polite to ask for a discount when they are shopping
  • Not saving money on your shopping could lead you to take out payday loans at the end of the month
  • Most retail chains grant discounts to people who ask for them
  • A survey reported 60% success rates when asking for reductions in well known high street stores
  • Others reported 97% success rates in independent shops
  • Go with confidence and be polite and friendly
  • Aggressive behaviour will make the salesperson in charge dislike you and not grant discounts
  • Look for imperfections when you are haggling on the high street

It will prove much easier to ask a shop assistant for a discount on an item that is not perfect. This could be wear and tear on the bottom of a shoe or makeup on a jumper that will easily come out in its first wash. It can sometimes be easier for first-timers to ask for something extra as opposed to money off. Some stores will tell you that they are not allowed to give discounts so this is an ideal time to ask for an add-on such as a TV cable or a small set of headphones to accompany a gadget.



Be sure to price check first

You would be surprised at how many retailers will price match their merchandise when you can point out to them where you can find it cheaper. Remember to include online stores too and you will find that most stores will price match to avoid losing the sale. Already discounted items are also a good buy that should be asked for a further reduction on as stores are under pressure to make floor space for their new season’s stock.

Make sure that you choose the right time to shop. Quiet shopping times such as morning or midweek when stores are quieter are likely to have a better success rate. Salespeople will not like you influencing and encouraging queues of people who are standing in line ready to pay the full price. Have a go, the worst answer that you can get is a polite and firm no!

High street haggling – Conclusions

We are all familiar with the saying, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. This is applying more and more to haggling on the high street to save yourself some money. All those savings could be very useful to you at the end of the month and save you having to rely on a payday loans UK from direct lenders to ease your cash flow. It is surprising how many well known high street retailers are more than willing to provide discounts when you put your British reservations aside and dare to ask.


We think you’ll enjoy these articles too:
How to save money – and how not to
Does Retail Therapy Help?



PUBLISHED BY
Tracy Walter
As a busy mother of 3, Tracy knows all about household finances. After completing her BA English Language and Literature at the University of Hertfordshire, she found an entry level job as an insurance agent and worked her way up. After the birth of her second child she left the insurance sector to work from home as a freelance writer. Tracy’s varied background in personal finance, writing and homemaking provide the perfect foundation for writing for the Payday Loan Net blog. Tracy loves nature, and weekends often find her with her kids at one of the many parks in the Barking area.

The article "High-Street Haggling – Could You Do It?" was last modified on