Haggling back in vogue

Big US retailers are allowing sales staff to bargain with customers over product price in an attempt to get more consumers in the door.

The New York Times reports that big retail chains such as Best Buy, Circuit City and Home Depot are now prepared to haggle with customers desperate to get a better price.

Home Depot, for example, has adopted an “entrepreneurial spirit” policy designed to give salespeople more control over prices and responsibility for retaining customers.

“We want to work with the customer, and if that happens to mean negotiating a price, then we’re willing to look at that,” a spokeswoman for Home Depot said.

A big reason for the return of haggling is the internet. Online-savvy consumers are now accustomed to bargain hunting, comparing and bidding on prices through the likes of eBay. Bricks and mortar retailers are now finding they need to offer something similar if they want to compete.

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