The Dealmaker

Dealmaker Justin Preston tells us how to get more bang for our buck this summer. Successful entrepreneur and presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Britain’s Secret Shoppers’, he explains how it needn’t cost the earth to enjoy all of life’s little luxuries.

No one can have failed to notice that the UK economy isn’t in the best of places right now. And having had a few years of recession, double-dip and tough times, we all want to make our £££s go that little bit further.

So how do we do that? Well, just because times are hard, it doesn’t mean we don’t want some of life’s little luxuries and treats to help put a smile on our faces after a hard week.
There are a few simple tips we can all follow that may seem very obvious, yet the majority of us don’t take advantage of!

Impulse purchases are nearly always the ones that we regret and pay over the odds for. Work out exactly what it is you want to buy and spend half an hour looking for the best price online, and in your local high street shop.

The traditional British reserve means that very few of us feel comfortable negotiating. Why? After all, our European cousins haggle on almost everything, and get great deals that us poor Brits don’t. Often, simply by asking in the right way you can save pounds on something you would already be willing to buy. That leaves more money in your pocket or purse to spend on other things!

Think Big
Do you need a new washing machine? Does your friend, neighbour, or someone in your family also need a new washing machine? Work together! Businesses are having a hard time on British high streets and a bigger sale is more worthwhile than negotiating a better price. Sounds too easy to be true, but it can actually work.

Think Local
Whilst you might think the Internet will always give you the cheapest price, this just isn’t always the case. Talk to your local shops and businesses, tell them what you’re looking to buy, then tell them you’d rather buy it from them and why. You are much more likely to experience higher levels of service and a friendly face that can help you choose what’s best for you. By spending money wisely, you can also be doing your bit to help kick-start the local British economy. If they can match or beat the Internet price, your pounds will be going into their till! They might not always want to, but if they can afford to, they will actually appreciate the opportunity to compete with the ‘Big Boys’.

These tips don’t just have to apply to products either ; you can research, haggle and think big on services too. How many times have you walked past your local swanky hair salon on a Tuesday morning and seen empty seats? Or that glitzy beauty spa that you can’t get booked into on a Saturday for months? Even though these are ‘luxury brands at luxury prices’, that doesn’t mean they won’t be more than happy to do a deal to get you into their business on quieter days when they have lots of available slots.

Ask what they can do for you if you have your expensive hair treatment done on a Monday instead of a Saturday.

What can they chuck in for free if you get waxed and polished at the beauty salon on a quieter day? The answer is, they will nearly always negotiate if you’re prepared to look them in the eye, smile and use your best haggling charm!

And the money you save on your hair… oh go on then, get your nails done too!

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