I happened to catch a very successful BBC TV programme this morning called Don’t Get Done, Get Dom. It’s a consumer champion type programme in which Dominic Littlewood shows people how to get some great discounts from various retailers. It’s a good show, but are we being done?
In the programme, Dominic Littlewood, wired up with a hidden camera and microphone, visits unsuspecting retailers, to show us how easy it is to barter a discount. He makes it seem fun and easy and always seems to walk away with a decent discount, even if it is achieved in the end by the toss of a coin.
I’m all for teaching consumers that discounts are often there for the asking, however I feel a bit uneasy about how simple Dom makes bartering seem. It takes confidence, tact and charm to convince a wary salesperson to part with some of their profit to achieve a sale.
Unfortunately we Brits are often too reserved to ask for a discount and are too embarrassed to barter when a sales person tells us the price.
What I would like to know, though, is how many retailers Dom visits that turn him down. We never see his unsuccessful attempts where the shop assistant digs their heels in and flatly refuses to give any money off.
It would be so helpful to us all to see how he deals with that rejection in a charming and dignified way. In fact, the ability to handle that rejection would probably give Brits more confidence to negotiate and barter in the future as it would show that there is no shame in asking for a discount and being refused.
So come on Dom, let’s see some snippets where you were failed to get any discount, no matter how hard you bartered and how many times you tossed a coin.