Haggling is not a frequent sight on the streets of Britain. In general, people go to a shop, pick something out, pay the price on the ticket, then take it home. It’s frightfully convenient, actually – after two months travelling in Thailand and Laos a few years ago I was relieved when purchasing something did not require a protracted discussion about how much it was actually worth. Mars bar, 59p, set. Lovely.
That being said, haggling is good fun in small doses. It’s a magnificent dance in which sellers extol the virtues and value of their product, the buyer ‘um’s and ‘ah’s about their ‘insufficient’ budget, the running costs, or points out there is a similar product cheaper down the road. The salesperson ‘goes to discuss it with their manager’, the customer ‘leaves to look around some more’; a charade of white lies which everyone’s aware of and no-one overtly acknowledges. It’s poker for products, and the prize varies from insignificant discounts to thousands of pounds worth of extras.
I’ve spent the last few days haggling in the glossy halls of various car showrooms. After hours of exhaustive research, test drives of 5-6 different cars, I’ve quibbled and discussed and finally settled a price on my second home from August – a 2014 Seat Leon SC FR, ex-demo, almost-but-not-quite-identical to the picture below. It is beautiful, and nippy, and I love it.
Not that I told the salesperson that, of course. Hooray for haggling!