Do you haggle?

If nine in 10 people who haggle save money why are so few of us asking for a deal? Plus where Canada’s savviest investors live.



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  • A recent Consumers Reports survey found only 48% of Americans have tried to bargain for a better deal on everyday goods and services in the last three years, down from 67% in 2007. We’re not sure why either. The same report found nine in 10 who haggle have saved money at least once during that period. Also interesting to note is that men are more likely than women to ask for discounts even though the results show both are equally successful. The lesson here: it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Where do Canada’s savviest investors live? B.C., according to BMO Nesbitt Burns. The firm’s Savviest Investor Index measures investor attitudes and actions. Respondents were scored based on whether they have a financial plan, awareness of their investment profile, amount of attention they pay to market trends and general knowledge about investments and how various factors can impact their portfolio.  This year, Albertans finished second with 88 points in financial “savvy,” followed by the Prairies (86), Ontario (82), Quebec (76) and Atlantic Canada (74). Overall Canadians generally report feeling confident about their portfolios though the study did find that one-third of respondents do not what specific investments they hold. The firms also found that investors are most knowledgeable about GICs (58%) and mutual funds (55%), and least knowledgeable about ETFs (19%).

One comment on “Do you haggle?

  1. I've done the retail jobs a lot, and let me just be clear about one thing: The average joe-blow retail clerk actually does NOT have the power to lower prices for you. SOMETIMES there is the ODD supervisor who has some discount up their sleeve (most likely an employee discount they're applying AGAINST company policy), but these days even that is pretty rare.

    Companies simply don't empower their employees to do that sort of thing like they used to. Not only that, but many go to great lengths to keep unauthorized discounts from happening. So if you're thinking that pressing some poor store clerk hard enough will eventually squeeze a discount out of them, sorry, but when they say "I can't make that call," they're telling the truth.

    Sorry to say, bartering just isn't done every day, because in big retail it often just isn't possible (and since that's where most of us are doing most of our day-to-day shopping, why would we think to try it elsewhere?) You *could* try other places (tradespeople come to mind) but I imagine that this mindset has trickled over to other industries as well.


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