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Serial haggler reveals she's saved £5,000 to date – and here are her secrets – Mirror Online

We've all tried our hand at haggling a cheaper phone bill or a second-hand car, but what about a new dress or your weekly supermarket bill?

Haggling has been a skill used since modern trading began, but with many shops instilling in customers that most things are take it or leave it when it comes to prices, most choose to pay whatever they are told to.

However, one self-proclaimed expert haggler says you shouldn't be afraid to ask for a discount - and she's got proof it works.

Lisa Winstanley practices haggling religiously - managing to knock money off everything from her rent, to car and things for her home - and she says she's saved at least £5,000 to date.

The money-saver from North Yorkshire uses money-saving blog LatestDeals.co.uk for online deals, and has now revealed her golden rules on the high street.

"I learnt to haggle when I was a kid. My grandad is a collector and visits markets and shops four times a week. He would sometimes take me as a child. I was 10 when I got my first discount by asking for it. I think it was a dog collar at a market," the 32-year-old said.

Lisa just saved more than £100 on her new garden fence

"Over the years I've saved thousands - but to guess, it would be around £5,000 at least.

"The last thing I haggled for was wood to make a fence in our garden. I shopped around and compared local prices for days. I then went into five shops and asked for help from staff and got roughly the same prices.

"I went to a newly opened place near me and told them what the project was for (to keep my dogs from going into my son's play area) and told them that I would buy all of my supplies from them if the price was right. The staff member and I totalled everything up.

"I got all the wood I needed for the fence. They even cut it all to size for me. I got screws, a tonne of sand, two tonnes of play bark and gate hinges. The cheapest price I got told for it all was £380, after the discount, I paid £260.

 

Where to use your haggling power

Serial haggler reveals she's saved £5,000 to date - and here are her secrets - Mirror Online
She says B&M staff have never refused her a discount

"The only places I don't haggle are charity shops. But retailers, markets, used shops and online are fair game. I'll ask for discounts everywhere.

"It's not always well received. I'll get some smarmy comments from staff and it can be very awkward. But to me, it's always worth asking. We live on the bread line so every penny helps.

"If a tin of beans had a dent in, I'd ask for a discount. If a package is a bit open or damaged, I'd ask for a discount. If an item of clothing had a bit of dirt or fluff on it I'd ask for a discount. I'll ask if it's the last on the shelf or I'll go for ex-display models.

"I make sure I have store cards and will search for voucher codes before buying online. I'll also go on "chat" before buying online and ask for a discount or code for free delivery.

"Last year GAP sent me a code for free delivery on a pair of dungarees for my son. I went on chat and told them that postage was too expensive and could I get a discount. I ended up paying £7 for a pair of £35 dungarees in the sale.

Serial haggler reveals she's saved £5,000 to date - and here are her secrets - Mirror Online
She says we could all save a fortune if we were a little braver

"A landlord once wanted £500pcm but I got it down to £450pcm - and lived there for two years!

"I also haggled for our new (used) car. I got £500 knocked off the price and four new tyres. Supermarkets like the big Cain ones are the worst for haggling. I'm very rarely able to get discounts from them.

"B&M are the best to get money off. If you can find something you want that's a bit dirty or the packaging is bent, don't be afraid to ask. They have never said no to a discount for me.

"Everyone should haggle but it takes nerves of steel. You've got to be willing to walk away if they say no. You've also got to be OK with being told no and being embarrassed. But it's always worth it when they say yes. Even if it's 10p you get off, it's still not paying full price.

"Haggling has changed the way I shop. With little money and the cost of living rising daily, I, like millions of others parents have to make sure we can get our children what they need with limited budgets.

"My family think I'm crazy. But then again they'll ask me to haggle for them or ask me how to get what they want cheaper. Their forever telling me "I don't know how you do it."

Lisa's top haggling tips

  • Always be polite. Be willing to walk away. Say please and thank you. If a till worker won't give a discount ask for a shift supervisor or manager. Don't be afraid to be real and tell them you just need to keep costs down.

  • Be kinder to smaller local shops. They don't bulk buy like bigger shops do so pay more for stock. Newly opened businesses will be desperate for reviews so in the case of service based needs, haggle with the promise of a review on their Facebook page, a share of their page and recommend them to friends for a discount.
    "I did this last week with a new gardener. He lifted the grass from my back garden ahead of our project. Instead of the £15 plus an hour rate in my local area he only charged me £10 per hour in exchange for review and share."

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