Don’t pay the price - haggle

Nicola Adam, Group Editor
Nicola Adam, Group Editor
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The survival of the fittest has taken on an altogether different meaning with the advent of technology.

It is now, should you choose, entirely possible to avoid human contact and never speak face-to-face.

This means the dominant species - the glossy super-confident alpha males and females of days gone by - are not necessarily first past the post in all things.

Never more is this true than behind the laptop screen of bargain-hunters like me.

Those, who would previously allowed themselves to be trampled in the sales queues, would have stared at the floor during an argument and withdrawn from a pointed spoken conversation over the price, are now rising to the top of the shopping tree online.

In the same way a super-popular blogger can potentially be shy, withdrawn and anti-social away from the heavily-edited posts, anonymous chatrooms and stylised images, the art of haggling for a bargain is down to persistence and research rather than a pretty face and a degree from charm school.

Manners still matter, but away from the high street grabbing a bargain is down to online omnipresence and persistence, rather than brash confidence and a glint in your eye.

New research has shown the art of haggling face-to-face is a skill now resigned to the older generations, perhaps because they had to.

While many younger people lack the confidence to barter on the high street, namelessly behind the screens of their devices they will happily quibble over a quid.

The art of walking away, an age-old trick to try to secure a bargain, has now been translated digitally without the need for the cheek required for such a move.

Instead potential shoppers simply walk away from full online baskets, leaving retailers sweating and offering reductions and enticements to lure you back into their cyber emporium.

Now, instead of gathering cheek to ask a shop assistant for a discount, they can be approached through a chatroom.

The retail landscape has changed out of recognition and innately polite British shoppers like me no longer have to pay the price.