Haggling may be worth the effort

Electrical giant Comet has topped a survey of the top high street stores to haggle in, with haggling success rates of over 50% found for many leading retailers.

Consumer help website MoneySavingExpert compiled a list of the top 10 major retailers where people are most likely to have successfully haggled, after asking around 2,500 people about their experiences in negotiating a more favourable deal.

Only stores where at least 100 people tried to get some sort of discount are included in the overall findings.

Website founder Martin Lewis said that the high success rate among the top 10 stores reflects the fact that the survey is focused on people who actively tried to haggle and are therefore likely to be quite good at doing it.

Highlighting the large proportion of DIY stores on the list such as B&Q, Homebase and Wickes, he said: "The closer it feels to a trade environment, the more likely it is that people will haggle."

The presence of supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's among the top 10 reflects large supermarket sales of big ticket items such as electrical goods and furniture, Mr Lewis said.

"Usually, big ticket items are the easiest things to haggle on - furniture, electricals, cars and digital equipment. People need to adopt a don't ask, don't get attitude. There are real rewards for charm and chutzpah on UK high streets. There's nothing wrong with asking for a discount."

People looking to haggle should seek out mid-level supervisors who have the authority to give discounts, rather than more junior staff or bosses too high up the chain, Mr Lewis suggested.

The best tactic is often to charm staff, while customers should not get angry with store workers if they are refused money off, he said.

"You have no automatic right to a discount. But you do have a right not to buy," said Mr Lewis.