It’s amazing how many places will offer you a discount if you ask for it. You just have to know the right things to say. These guidelines will help you learn how to negotiate a better price, as well as land a flight upgrade when travelling.
Negotiate a better price
Most stores will negotiate on large items such as fridges and TVs. When it comes to secondhand items, such as cars and antiques, the seller positively expects to haggle, and will have set the price accordingly.
- Build a rapport with the seller. Be warm, but don’t make friends. Conversely, don’t try to bully the retailer into selling (I’m not paying that price!); you’re trying to reach an agreement about the price, not win an argument.
- Make it clear that you’re not a time-waster, and imply that the price is just a small obstacle standing in the way of a sale. Say something like: I’m really interested, but I’d need you to do me a deal on that.
- Don’t accept the first offer. In fact, don’t say anything about it at all. Just look doubtful or wince, and wait to see what the seller says next: they may name a lower price.
- Look for ways to add value that don’t affect the price: ask for free delivery if you’re buying electrical goods, a year’s tax or a better music system if it’s a car.
Get a flight upgrade
Free upgrades are rare, but to stand any chance of getting one you need to look the part.
- If you’re dressed scruffily, your chances of wangling your way into Business Class are slim.
- An appearance that says SFU (“suitable for upgrade”) is more likely to pay dividends if you check in late, once the cheap seats are full. But this is a risky strategy: you might just end up with the worst seat in Economy.
- You’re more likely to be upgraded if you’re travelling alone.
- The best tactic is to join an airline’s loyalty scheme and try to use that carrier whenever you fly. Frequent flyers tend to go to the front of the upgrade line-up.