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Can we Irish drive a hard bargain?

There’s an interesting article here from todays Irish Times about the unwillingness of Irish consumers to haggle. Presumably this follows on from our aversion to complaining – though in the last couple of years, I think that we may have come out of our shelves a little in that regards.

We can only echo the journalists comments with regards to “digging your heels in” when it comes to looking for a better deal when making purchases. And don’t just limit yourself to simply looking for money off an item – while there genuinely may be no flexibility in some cases, there may be optional extras which could be thrown in for free if push came to shove – spare refills of something, extra warranty, etc.

And remember, as touched upon in the article, while staff on the shop floor may not have the ability to give discounts or concessions, their managers are quite likely to have such power. And remember also, don’t be fobbed off by the “the manager isn’t here at the moment line” – there’s always someone in charge.

As when complaining, always be reasonable. If you are asking for money off something, make sure your demands can’t be dismissed immediately as being unreasonable. Be polite, friendly, and show your genuine interest in making a purchase.

Finally, decide your desired outcome of any such discussions. Are you willing to walk out of the shop without making a purchase if you don’t get your discount? Is there a minimum that you’re willing to accept?

My final friendly pitch in such negotiations, mostly when I’m willing to walk away without making a purchase, is to politely explain that I’m in a take it or leave it situation, and that I’m able to walk away from the purchase – whether or not the seller is ready/willing/able to do so is up to them.

Bottom line, if they don’t want your business and you can, walk away! The way I’d look at such things would be to gauge their willingness to get your money from you and to compare that to what their willingness might be to help you out if you’ve problems with your purchase later – after they already have your money (which is their bottom line).

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