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Haggling can pay, but many Americans refuse to bargain

Haggling is second nature in many countries and cultures, but Americans have mixed feelings about bargaining. We should get over our trepidation, since haggling does work, and shoppers who use this strategy do reap big rewards.

In a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of 2,000 American adults about their haggling habits, 89 percent of people who said they haggled were rewarded at least once. At the same time, just 48 percent of shoppers tried bargaining on everyday goods and services in the past three years, down from 61 percent in 2007.

Other survey findings:

  • 35% told us they refuse to bargain, period.

  • 20% of women say haggling makes them uncomfortable compared with 10 percent of men.

  • 43% who earn less than $50,000 a year said they haggle, compared with 58 percent of higher earners.

Learn how to bargain.

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