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Haggling over price: Survey shows South Africans most likely to haggle on furniture and antiques

Jan 10, 2018
Haggling over price: Survey shows South Africans most likely to haggle on furniture and antiques

When it comes to haggling for a good deal, not every price is up for negotiation. Your mainstream grocery store probably won’t give you a discount on milk or bread just because you ask for one. But when you’re shopping for a car or even repair services for your home, the art of the deal could be built around bartering.

But which purchases are worth the effort, and do you really stand a chance at bagging a better bargain? The answer is yes , and we’re going to tell you where!

We surveyed over 1,700 people from around the world (including North America, Europe, and Africa) to understand what it takes to be a good price negotiator – from the role gender could be playing in your ability to score a better deal to how much good looks might matter in your culture. Keep reading to see what we learned about when and where you should try to negotiate – whether you’re taking a taxi in Mexico or buying jewelry in India – and how much it might save you.

Who Haggles Better?

Bargaining bliss

There’s no denying successful negotiations take a certain amount of skill. If you’re good at it, you might even make a living out of negotiating with people regularly. While some of that savvy may be learned behavior, some studies suggest negotiation may be wired into our personalities. Things like emotional intelligence and cognitive ability could impact the way we analyze a situation, interact with other people, and ultimately strike a better bargain.

Our survey found men around the world were more likely to enjoy haggling than women. Thirty-seven percent of women appreciated the process of negotiating compared to 45 percent of men. Enjoying the game doesn’t always mean being good at it, though. Women admitted to landing a steeper discount than men on average – 18 percent versus 17 percent, respectively.

Your success at bargaining might also depend on where in the world you’re trying to finagle a deal. According to our survey, people from Indonesia and India typically enjoyed bargaining the most, while those from Indonesia France, and Spain scored the best deals. In Asian countries especially, the art of negotiation is built around establishing quality relationships across both sides of the table. In these cultures, friendship can come before business, and haggling over prices isn’t a burden –it can be an opportunity to converse or get to know someone.

Experts have identified that people from Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. prefer a more direct negotiation style or to lace their bargaining with humor, which can be ineffective or lead to confrontation. Less than 1 in 3 Americans enjoyed negotiating for lower prices, although they typically achieved nearly 17 percent off when they did.

Cashing In on Gender

Making it look easy

In the same way that personality traits can impact a person’s skill at negotiating, it’s possible that gender could play a role as well. Men and women around the world differed on how much they enjoyed haggling, and research shows this could be a product of their sex. Studies have suggested men and women approach negotiations differently from both sides of the deal. While men may prefer to negotiate with power, women are more inclined to compromise.

Read the rest of the study here >>> Cultural Sentiments towards Haggling.