Scots are too bashful to barter in order to secure the best deals even though the majority of them dislike paying the full amount for an item.
Research by TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback site, reveals less than a quarter (24 per cent) of consumers regularly negotiate during a purchase.
Therefore the 76 per cent who never or only occasionally haggle, have missed out on £344 in the past year alone.
The survey of Scottish residents finds that while embarrassment is the biggest stumbling block to getting a cheaper price (74 per cent), almost a third (31 per cent) of consumers do not ask because they are worried retailers will not respond well to them challenging the cost.
Even those who do attempt wrangling a lower amount are not confident in their ability, with 43 per cent believing they do not haggle effectively.
Natasha Rachel Smith, consumer affairs editor for TopCashback.co.uk said: “British consumers are renowned for being quite reserved, so it’s no surprise self-consciousness often prevents them from challenging the given price.
“However it’s important people don’t let this get in the way of them achieving the best possible deal.”
Of those consumers who are brave enough to haggle, affordability is not the driving force as only three per cent are actually motivated because they cannot afford it.
Instead half (50 per cent) are driven by securing the lowest cost possible and over a quarter (26 percent) are of the mind-set that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
When it comes to where and what residents in Scotland are haggling for, unsurprisingly, 59 per cent find it easier on holiday.
While 76 per cent of hagglers look to agree a bargain for big ticket items (e.g. a car), more than a half said when an item is damaged (56 per cent). Similarly, the majority of smooth-talking money-savers (74 per cent) employ their skills when renewing existing contracts for mobile phones, broadband and TV packages, or insurance policies (68 per cent).
The research shows that the most popular tactics to negotiating a saving are:
1. Asking for things to be thrown in free (75 per cent);
2.Researching retailers beforehand so you know what deals they have to offer (62 per cent);
3. Never taking the first offer (60 per cent);
4. Offering a lower price than you think it is worth in the hope the retailer will meet you in the middle (57 per cent);
5. Building up a rapport (39 per cent);
6. Offering to pay in cash (32 per cent);
7. Pretending to be disinterested at first (25 per cent);
8. Picking quieter times to shop (22 per cent);
9. Offering to buy in bulk (seven per cent);
10. Using the good cop / bad cop routine (four per cent)
Natasha continued: “Our research sheds light on the tactics hagglers use to guarantee a cut-price deal, which we can all learn from.
“Those who are more reluctant or nervous of negotiating money off should practise in situations where it’s a bit easier, such as on holiday or perhaps when renewing phone or internet contracts. You can also take advantage of environments where it’s more expected to negotiate on prices such as car dealerships or markets. Regardless of if you haggle or not, it’s worth doing your homework to ensure you always get the best price.”
She added: “You can also pretty much always find voucher codes and high cashback offers to save you money without even having to ask.”