Small traders not up for the haggle

Knowing how much to charge if you're a small business can be a challenge - so much so that it seems they are reluctant to cause upset by questioning the prices set by others.

According to a T-Mobile survey of 1,000 smaller traders, one out of ten said they would only try to negotiate on price if they were suffering from restricted cashflow.

Rather than haggle, a small trader unhappy by a price is likely to respond by walking away and looking for another supplier - a course that more than half have taken.

Yet being quoted an unreasonably high price for goods or services is an expectation for more than a third of small businesses when approaching a supplier at the outset.

But time constraints, other priorities and a belief that negotiating won't affect the final quote are the most common reasons not to haggle, show the findings, seen by the Financial Times.

Moreover, almost a third of the small traders said they didn't see themselves as natural, strong negotiators, suggesting their esteem may also put them off haggling.

However of those small businesses that did seek to negotiate with prospective suppliers, at least a quarter said they eventually walked away with an average saving of £500.

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