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It's time to haggle

    We will barter with the best in a holiday market but on home turf many become complacent and cowardly, thinking that haggling is rude. Yet when demand is low, companies prefer to reduce prices than lose custom.

    Right now, when sales are still on, the high-street is open to reductions. Go when stores are less busy, seek someone senior but not the head honcho, and of course, haggle with a smile and chutzpah (full haggling rules at http://mse.me/haggle). I have had successes fed back to me recently from John Lewis, Comet, Debenhams and more.

    Even better haggling can be had at broadband, mobile, TV or breakdown-cover call centres. Threaten to leave and you will usually be put through to "disconnections", aka "customer retentions". Their job is to keep you. Discounts can be huge so it is worth the call.

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