Haggling is a skill every thrifter needs to know
Both how to do it, and when to do it.
- Start by finding out the price of the item that you want to purchase. This will give you a baseline for your negotiations.
- Determine the value of the item to you. If the item is something that you really want and are willing to pay a higher price for, you may be less likely to negotiate a lower price. Ask yourself if you would buy this in a high street store and how much you would pay for it. In your eyes, is it high street or high end?
- Consider the condition of the item. If the item is in poor condition, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Look for any fixable holes, or cleanable stains. If there are any holes or stains that can’t be easily fixed then the item might not be worth haggling for in the first place.
- Make an offer. Start by offering a lower price than the asking price and even a little lower than your ideal price, see how the seller responds. Be prepared to negotiate and be willing to compromise. You might be able to get the item at the price you wanted by offering slightly lower in the first place.
- Be respectful and polite. Even if you are trying to get a lower price, it’s important to treat the seller with respect and to be polite in your negotiations. The seller isn’t your enemy, and a negotiation isn’t a battle, don’t let shows like Madmen tell you otherwise.
- Be prepared to walk away or just pay the asking price. If you and the seller can’t come to an agreement on the price, don’t be afraid to walk away. But if you really do want the item it’s okay to wave the white flag and admit defeat.
Now that you know how to haggle and get the best price. I have one tip on when you should and shouldn’t haggle.
It’s simple. Never haggle in a charity shop, only in a thrift store or a private sale. Charity shops are trying to better the community and help people. The staff aren’t paid, they’re there voluntarily, and people are just trying to do the right thing. Don’t try and take money away from a charity.
On the other side, thrift stores and private sales are a great place to haggle. The seller is trying to make a profit and you’re trying to get something you love, it’s an even playing field.