Impulse buys wane as cash strain continues

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Hagglers, savvy-shoppers and sale-seekers are on the increase according to new research from Santander Credit Cards.

Buying full price is becoming a thing of the past with over 50 per cent of Brits prepared to haggle to get the best price and 60 per cent waiting until an item goes on sale before buying.

Impulse spending is also dwindling, with over 70 per cent of people shopping around to find the best price before they part with their cash. Over a quarter of us want a discount for buying in bulk and 15 per cent will threaten to walk away if they don’t get the price we seek. Six per cent will even turn on the charm in their efforts to nab a bargain.

Haggling is most common on bigger items like houses or cars, where nearly 70 per cent would expect to haggle. It is also used often by people where the price is not seen as fixed, like in an antique shop (nearly 50 per cent), market (45 per cent) or with a tradesmen (35 per cent). And it pays off - over 70 per cent say their haggling works at least some of the time, and a third suggest it results in a lower price most of the time.

Gail Goldie of Santander said: “We’re all looking for ways to beat the squeeze and more people than ever are now looking to make better use of their hard earned cash and ways to make it go further, or ‘savvy-shopping’, which over the course of a year can result in quite significant savings.

“Haggling is great for those situations where the price isn’t fixed and shopping around is another obvious one, particularly given how easy it is to do that online.”

There are significant gender differences in our approach to securing a bargain. Men are much more forthright about haggling and asking for money off - over 50 per cent will ask for money off compared to 40 per cent of women.

Men find haggling less cringe-worthy than women with only one-in-four saying they are embarrassed compared to nearer one-in-two women. And only 10 per cent of men get tongue-tied when seeking out a bargain compared to nearly 30 per cent of women.

Women are more likely to consider themselves ‘savvy shoppers’ however - almost 80 per cent of women would describe themselves as such. They are also much more likely than men to wait until the item goes on sale - 65 per cent compared to 55 per cent of men. While men are upfront about asking for discount, women tend to use their feminine charm and seven per cent have even admitted to flirting to get a good deal.