LET us be clear, as all the best politicians say before obfuscating: I am not myself a haggler.
I'm a very British, independence-supporting Scot. Reticent, d'you see? Don't like to create a scene. Besides, haggling is about wotsitsname, you know – hate to mention the subject – but there's no getting round it: money.
We don't like to be seen to be cheap. I wouldn't be a big hit down the souk. Just state the price clearly, bag the item and I'll be on my way.
But there's no getting round it: haggling can save you the aforementioned – sorry to bring it up again – money. Not just down the souk. It works at Comet too.
The electrical retailer topped a survey of high-street stores for hagglability. And that very definitely isn't a word. Consumer website MoneySavingExpert asked 2500 punters about their experiences in negotiating better deals. There isn't much detail on how to go about this. If I see an electric moustache-waxer in Comet for £70.99, I can imagine only a frosty response if I say: "I'll give you 40 quid and half of this sausage roll." Even if it is a jumbo sausage roll.
Several DIY stores scored highly for haggletude – nope, not a word either – which was attributed to their being closer to a "trade" environment. Well, good luck with that. I just got an image of myself with my head in a trapezoidally screwed vice.
The nearest many of us come to the souk is John Lewis, with its "Never knowingly undersold" nonsense. They ken fine well naebody will breenge into Britain's premier bourgeois store invoking such a tawdry slogan.
Well, I wouldn't for fear they'd tie me up with hook and loop tape from the haberdashery department. Haberdashery: lovely word.
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