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6 Best tips to get a good discount when shopping

Sharpen your bargaining skills so that you can get the best discounts while shopping this festive season. Be it a car or an apartment, a new appliance or gadget, a piece of furniture or designer clothes, get a good deal through the proper negotiation of price. Learn how to bargain like a pro.

Indians are masters at the art of bargaining. Is that generalizing it too much? Well, let us agree that a majority of Indians are good at bargaining. They love to bargain and get a good deal. It is an art, passed down generations. I remember my dad, haggling with shopkeepers, cutting down the price by half. He would offer to pay Rs.50 for something that the shopkeeper wanted Rs.100 for.

Back then, I would try to make myself invisible, probably embarrassed by the friendly banter that went to and fro. But, dad always seemed to win. He would make the purchase and also save money. He never got the item at the 50% price reduction that he started off with, but it was always a fair deal. A 25-30% discount was not a bad bargain. At times there was a freebie thrown in.

Of course, today the scenario is different, you cannot possibly bargain in glitzy shopping malls. Moreover, most of them have frequent clearance sales, so you are already getting a good deal if you choose that period to shop. Online stores also leave no room to bargain, in fact, they make shopping a pleasure, with their huge discounts and offers. But, you can still practice your bargaining skills while purchasing high-value items, where a small percentage reduction can amount to huge savings for you. Even posh showroom selling white goods, furniture, furnishings and automobiles etc. can be persuaded into giving you a discount. You can even try your skills at wholesale shops selling clothes, dry-fruits, groceries etc.

So, how do you make that happen?

Do your homework

Do not begin negotiating the price, without first doing some groundwork. Your bargaining power rests in the information you have. If you are in the marketing office of a builder looking for a discount it would help in knowing the going property rate, in that area, as well as in localities abutting it. You can also check the rates of similar properties in other locations.

This gives you an upper hand, especially when you intersperse these prices into the conversation. The marketing executive will probably want to seal the deal and instead of risking losing out on the opportunity, will offer you a competitive price. Most marketing executives are authorized to offer a rebate but will do it only as a last resort, when they risk losing a prospective client.

The same goes for showrooms selling white goods and other durable. Know the rates of similar products in different brands. You are in a Sony Showroom, but if you tell the salesperson that a similar product is available at the LG Store, for a cheaper price, you have got more chances of striking a better deal, than asking for a discount, upfront.

Timing matters

Let us say it is an auspicious time to the year, and you want to purchase a car. Think; is it urgent, can you do without it for another few months. If you delay the purchase until the end of the year, you will be able to get the same car, at a cheaper price, and the dealer may even pay for the registration and insurance.

How is that possible?: Dealers want to meet his annual calendar targets and will slash their commission in order to do so. They offer end-of-the-year discounts which act as an incentive to buy a new car.

Some people choose to make a big purchase in the New Year, but it does not really matter unless you want to sell your car in a few years – for then your car will look younger, because it would have been registered in the next year and you will get a better resale price.

Curb that euphoria

You are shopping for your wedding lehenga and you are shown this stunning piece, in the just the color that you want. Your instant reaction would perhaps be to openly exhibit your glee. But, hold on, reserve that for later. If the salesperson at the store senses that your heart is set on the lehenga they will not offer you a discount because they know that you will gladly pay for it, no matter the price.

Keep it aside, in fact, ignore it for a bit and then look at it nonchalantly. Then set it aside as something that you might consider, but not at the price tag displayed. Show disinterest in the other pieces and come back to the one that you like. Now, let the salesperson know that you like the piece, but it is too steeply priced and you do not want to pay that much for it. They will probably ask you to consider one of the cheaper ones. Decline and say you need to think about it unless they can offer you a better price. With a little negotiation and you will soon be carrying the lehenga box home.

Body language

Body language is a big give-away. It reveals more than words. The salesperson would be a master at reading body language. He will decipher that sparkle in your eyes that little side ward glance that you give to the person accompanying you. He will know when you like something at the way your hand lingers on it.

But, at the same time, he is also displaying signals through his body language. So, when you are bargaining, observe his body language. You can continue to negotiate as long as you have his attention. The tell-tale signs that your attempts at negotiation are failing are when the salesperson gets busy, doing other things and avoids eye contact. It is a signal that he will not reduce the price any further than his last offer. It is up to you to take it or leave it.

Build a rapport

Be friendly, be warm and you will be better equipped at negotiating an agreeable price. If you act haughty and treat the salesperson like garbage, he is sure to pay you back when the time comes. So, a discount would be off the table, even if it is possible because no one likes being treated like dirt. They would rather not make the sale than letting their ego be hurt.

When you are genuinely nice, and use please and thank you, in your conversation and smile a genuine smile, you win over the other person. And they will be more open to a discussion on price and match your price. If a discount is not possible, they would offer you a gift – like microwaveable cookware, with a microwave or a stabilizer with an air-conditioner or seat covers with a car or kitchenware with a purchase.


Look for defects

Look for flaws that missed the quality control team. If you find a minor flaw in whatever you want to purchase you boost your bargaining power. Make sure that the defect does not hamper the merchandise's usage or functionality.

It could be a tiny scratch on the side of the fridge or a slight change in color in the threads used for embroidery in the apparel or an apartment with the designated parking area at a distance. The flaw should not affect the usability. You would be able to get a good bargain when you highlight these flaws.


Bargaining is an art. It requires gentle persuasion. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to master it. Remember you as a customer want to save money and the shop owner wants his profit. He will not sell you anything at a loss. So, do not feel guilty when haggling because you will only be reducing the shop owners profit, by a small margin. Dealers get high commissions on the good they sell. You must take advantage and strike a good bargain, using the tactics described here.

Happy bargaining and happy shopping!

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: Umesh07 Oct 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Rightly said - bargaining is an art.

If you have some detailed knowledge about the product you are buying it helps a lot. During bargaining when we discuss various points and the shopkeeper comes to know that we know about the product - from where it is brought and what is its manufacturing cost etc and why it is cheaper in some place but costlier elsewhere - then all these things make the shopkeeper to consider some significant discount to you. Yes, it is a type of gimmick but it works.

Now it is not so easy to get detailed informations about products just to get a discount and many people will not consider it a noble way of bargaining but wherever we can get such informations we should go through it before visiting a shop.

Author: Natarajan07 Oct 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 6

Nice article - yes, bargaining is an art. Either the buyers using his skills to neogiate a truly good price or a seller fooling the buyer by making him beleive that he has got a good deal.

People who are streetsmart often are successful in bargaining.Apart from the mind games betwen buyer and seller, the buyer needs to be aware of the product,the average price of the same product to be able to say that yes it's a good bargain or no, it's discounted after doubling up the price.

Nice that the author has also highlighted on the condition of the item often pre-owned or products with minor defects are heavily discounted and often are non-refundable.

Finally, if the bargain is too good to be true, it's wiser to check the quality and ensure that its not an imitation brand or a defective product.

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