Bartering for everyday items
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:42:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
It was recently that time of year again when my bank balance takes a massive hit as various premiums are taken out for things like car tax, car insurance, house insurance etc so I get a little anal about finding the best deal.
This year, my target was to get my car insurance below £1,000 which seeing as I'm now (boo-hiss) over 25 shouldn't have been an issue but I had a feeling it wouldn't be an easy feat seeing as I drive a sports car, heck I like a challenge so off I set.
As I didn't have an issue with my current insurer I thought I'd see what deal they could offer me so they were my first port of call. I knew what they had sent through the post (over £1,500) which I thought was a little steep so I'd give them a chance to knock it down. Success! They took over £100 off -only another £400 to go!
I then went through Money Supermarket's online insurance comparison site to see what else was on offer. It came back with a few closer to £1,200 so I started calling -once again I called my current insurer who came down to £1,100 so I called the next cheapest on the list (£1,200) and told them if they could match the other quote I'd be interested. They of course did and came in at around £900 which was pretty dandy!
This went on for a while, every time I got a quote I would call around each company and give them the chance to "beat" the other one until I was batting between two companies -one being my previous insurer. After careful negotiation I ended up paying just shy of £600 for my insurance and actually ended up with a higher miles allowance than I did at £1,500 -despite what you're thinking, the insurances were otherwise exactly the same! That's a whooping £900 saving for a little phoning around!!
This got me thinking, are we regularly unknowingly paying more for our goods/services? I tend to barter out of principle if I can, usually just as a challenge but is it the same as banks have gone with financing1 in which case I wonder what other companies are doing it? I know companies often factor in a small % to accommodate the discount requests etc but does that mean we should barter for everything?
1 I've found when looking for funding, if you want £100 and ask for £100 you tend to get £75 as the bank assumes you have over-inflated your request to accommodate their % reduction so the next time you go in, you ask for £130 instead and so it goes on, each pre-guessing what the other person is after in an environment of distrust leaving those people who don't want to play "the game" (or don't know about "the game") out of pocket.