Money-saving guru JASMINE BIRTLES: How to haggle…even on High St

You might not think it’s ‘British’ to barter in stores, but haggling has become so popular that amazing savings are being made by ordinary shoppers every day.

In fact, six in ten of us are now haggling to try and beat the rising cost of living, saving an average of £155 a year, according to discount site TopCashback.

And the good news is whether it’s online or on the high street, no bargaining is off limits.

Take a vacation, for example.

Dean Schiavi, of tour operator Tradewinds, says: “Most tour operators will give travel agents between 10-20% commission, so that’s the margin they can play with.” Hays Travel has greater buying power with the likes of Tui, so it might get a 20pc commission, while smaller independents get 10-12pc.

You might not think it’s ‘British’ to barter in stores, but haggling has become so popular that amazing savings are being made by ordinary shoppers every day.

This means you’re more likely to negotiate a decent discount with bigger agencies – just ask.

If you book directly with the companies, there may also be some wiggle room. First, find out what a hotel charges per room on comparison sites like Booking.com and Opodo.com.

Then call the hotel and ask if they will offer you an offer to book directly instead. Even if he doesn’t budge on the price, he may upgrade you or offer free breakfast.

Car dealerships are no strangers to haggling either, so try to play rival companies against each other.

Once you’ve decided on a make and model, go back and forth between dealers and tell each the other is offering a better price until it doesn’t go any lower.

Then see what extras you can get for free, like a satnav.

The timing of the purchase is also critical. By the time a new model hits the forefront, dealers are more likely to offer discounts on the older version.

Late March, June, September and December are also good times to buy a new car, as this is when dealerships are under pressure to meet sales targets. For used cars, use the Auto Trader site to find the usual price for the car you want, then browse eBay and Facebook Marketplace for cheaper deals. Then report any flaws, dents or scratches to further lower the price.

If you do most of your <a class=shopping online, try leaving the items you plan to buy in your shopping cart and exiting the site. Many stores will send an email reminder with an exclusive discount code to encourage you to come back and complete your purchase.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

If you do most of your shopping online, try leaving the items you plan to buy in your shopping cart and exiting the site. Many stores will send an email reminder with an exclusive discount code to encourage you to come back and complete your purchase.

Just be careful not to fall for the scam and never buy a car without seeing it first.

When it comes to haggling in the High Street you’ll find it much easier if you’re dealing with an assistant who earns a commission (like those at the Office shoe chain) – and you might find they give you 10% reduction almost immediately. Or ask to speak to someone who has the power to reduce prices.

This will be easier if the item clearly has a minor flaw, such as a missing button. Most stores offer a 10% discount on faulty goods, but you should be able to increase it to 20%, especially if you’re buying more than one item. If all else fails, see what you can get for free: accessories, delivery, warranty or similar.

You’ll also have a better chance of getting a discount if you shop at quieter times, like Tuesday mornings. And always be very friendly.

If you do most of your shopping online, try leaving the items you plan to buy in your shopping cart and exiting the site.

Many stores will send an email reminder with an exclusive discount code to encourage you to come back and complete your purchase.

You can also try messaging the store asking for a discount using the website’s live chat service.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that these haggling tips will always produce results, but it’s definitely worth a shot. After all, the worst that can be said is no.

Model of how to increase income

Would you like to do some modeling but, like me, you don’t really look like Kate Moss? Well, that doesn’t have to stop you from getting paid handsomely to pose for local businesses.

A while ago, my colleague Vicky got a one-off gig to model at a show in her local town through the Backstage.com website.

She was paid £200 and got a free haircut to boot. And there are all kinds of weird and wonderful unique jobs like this listed on the website that pay by the hour or by the project.

At the moment, a men’s ready-to-wear brand is looking for a “fitting model” to try out its new range of suits on a real person.

There’s also an ad for promotional bar staff to help out a drinks brand at festivals and another request for triplets and look-alike siblings to appear on a TV show.

So if you’re looking for the occasional local gig to supplement your income, check it out.

Dine at a reduced price:

The Wowcher website has dozens of deals on all kinds of experiences, with more arriving every day.

But you can get up to an additional 15% off most of its offers (except travel) using my exclusive codes JASMINE10WOW and JASMINE15NEWWOW for new customers. These can only be used once but are valid for the whole month of June.

Clothing Auction Fit for Royalty

This weekend, favorite brands of the Queen, Duchess of Cambridge and other royals are offering fantastic discounts. John Lewis has slashed the price of some jackets from popular countrywear brand Barbour.

At Marks & Spencer there’s a Summer Beauty Bag deal where you can buy £160 worth of products for £25 when you spend £30 on clothes and up to 30pc off lingerie.

Aspinal of London, adored by Kate and Princess Beatrice, is offering up to 50 pieces off bags and accessories, including many of her signature styles. Hunter, maker of boots for the royal family, has up to 30% off its classic and newer styles.

And sneaker brand Superga, also regularly worn by Kate, are making huge savings on many of their popular styles, with prices starting at just £16.50 a pair.

Boden is also offering big savings this weekend. Oh, and if you want your kids to channel little Prince George meeting Barack Obama in his white ‘My 1st Years’ dress, you can get 15% off everything on his website with the code ‘Jubilee’.

A question for Jasmine? Email her at [email protected]

Don’t Miss These Food and Drink Freebies

Startling new statistics revealed this week that the price of staple foods such as pasta has jumped up to 50% in the past year.

With experts warning that things might get worse before they get better, it’s up to us to find the bargains – and here are a few to get you started.

SimplyCook.com is offering new customers a free box of four recipes and ingredients.

It usually costs £9.99, so be sure to cancel before more payments are made. And there is a £1 postage charge. Virgin Mobile and O2 customers can get a free drink at Caffe Nero each month. If you’re with O2, you can also get a free Greggs breakfast on Friday or Saturday mornings.

KFC fans can get a free order (including chicken wings and chicken popcorn) by signing up to its loyalty app, The Colonel’s Club.

If you download the Taco Bell mobile app and enter a friend’s invite code, you’ll get a free taco and 50 reward points. Jordon Cox ‘Britain’s Coupon Kid’ says you can use his code: JORDX14409.

The McDonald’s app also offers special offers and you will receive a free hot drink after downloading it.

For a free can of Pringles, download the Shopmium cashback app and enter the code YU8i9F. The Pringles prize will be sent to your Paypal account once you have uploaded a photo of your receipt as proof of purchase.

And, finally, you can get two-for-one pizzas at Domino’s if you pick them up yourself.

KFC fans can get a free order (including chicken wings and popcorn chicken) by signing up to its loyalty app, The Colonel¿s Club [File photo]

KFC fans can get a free order (including chicken wings and chicken popcorn) by signing up to its loyalty app, The Colonel’s Club [File photo]

About Valerie Wilson

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