Haggling

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/intermediate/unit-1/session-4

 

Finn
Hi, this is Finn and I’ve got some special language for you today. And how about this: I might even save you some money! Learn English and save money? Well, today we’re talking about haggling – now that’s what we do when we’re trying to buy something for a cheaper price – like at a market, or on holiday.

Haggling is, of course, very common in many different cultures, and here in the UK people do haggle but they don’t really do it in big shops: you might hear it, maybe, at a market – or, as we’re going to hear – if you’re buying something expensive like a second-hand car.

Now, Rob is looking for a good deal. But will Neil – who’s selling – be happy with the price? Let’s listen. And while you do, listen out for a particular phrase – instead of saying ‘could you sell it for…’, what does Rob say?

Rob
Excuse me. How much for the Vauxhall over there?

Neil
Oh the Vauxhall, oh yeah, that’s a bargain. ______________

Rob
_________?

Neil
Yeah. It’ll cost you at least _________ anywhere else.

Rob
Could you do it for ________?

Neil
______? No, sorry, no: I can sell this car for _______, I’m sure of it.

Rob
I’ve got the cash. You __________ do it for _______?

Neil
No.

Rob
You couldn’t do a bit ___________, could you?

Neil
Well, I tell you what, I could probably ______ it for about ___________.

Finn
Ok, let’s pause their haggling right there. Did you hear the phrase Rob used? Instead of saying ‘Could you sell it for £500’, Rob said:

Rob
Could you do it for 500?

Finn
Do it. Simple, huh? Could you do it for 500?

Rob
Could you do it for 500?

Finn
You could also say Can you do it for £500can rather than could. But could is a little bit more polite. Now listen to these examples of it as well – you can use it in the negative, with couldn’t:

Rob
You couldn’t do it for 550? You couldn’t do it a bit cheaper, could you?

Finn
You couldn’t do it for 550? You couldn’t do a bit cheaper, could you? Now remember, haggling goes both ways – and the seller will use lots of language to keep the price high. So did you notice the language Neil used – he called it a _____________ – that’s a good price, and said it would cost more in other shops.

Neil
Oh the Vauxhall, oh yeah, that’s a __________. £700.

Rob
700?

Neil
It’ll cost you at least _____________ anywhere else.

Finn
But Rob is persistent – he doesn’t give up! He’s succeeded in getting the price down by £50 already. You could say – Neil has knocked off £50. Now, knocked off means he’s taken the price down by £50. Now, let’s listen to the end of their conversation – the end of their haggling. How much does Neil knock off in the end?

Neil
I tell you what, I could probably do it for about 650.

Rob
650?

Neil
650, yeah. You can’t say fairer than that.

Rob
Well, is that really your best price?

Neil
It’s my best price. 650. Come on.

Rob
I’ve got all the ____________here. I haven’t got ________, I’ve got ______. I’ll give you __________for it.

Neil
630, how about that? I’ve just _______________ another £20.

Rob
It’s too much: I haven’t got that kind of money. Look, I saw it down the road for 600. In fact, I think I might go there and buy it. Thanks anyway, bye.

Neil
Hang on, hang on, let’s not be _______ here. Let’s not be silly here. I’ll tell you what. 600.

Rob
600. It’s a __________

Neil
Go on then.

Finn
So how much did Neil knock off? Well the final price was £600, and it started at £700 – so he knocked off £100. How did Rob do this? Well, he used another good phrase: I haven’t got _________________ of money.

Rob
It’s too much: I haven’t got that kind of money.

Finn
And he also did something I always do if I’m haggling and I can’t get the price down – he started to walk away.

Rob
I saw it down the road for 600. In fact, I think I might go there and buy it. Thanks anyway, bye.

Neil
Hang on, hang on…

Finn
It’s a bit naughty, isn’t it – but it tends to work! Anyway, finally they reached a ______. And what did Neil say at the very end?

Neil
600.

Rob
600. It’s a _________.

Neil
Go on then.

Finn
Go on then. You’ll often hear this in spoken English – in a haggling situation like this, so if you hear it, well done – your haggling has been successful, and it’s time to pay up!

Neil
600.

Rob
600. It’s a deal.

Neil
Go on then.

Finn
That’s it for this time, but let me know if you manage to use any of this language next time you haggle. You might even save some money. I’ll leave you with their conversation one last time.

Rob
Excuse me. How much for the Vauxhall over there?

Neil
Oh the Vauxhall, oh yeah, that’s a _______________. £700.

Rob
700?

Neil
It’ll cost you at least 800 __________________.

Rob
Could you do it for 500?

Neil
500? No, sorry, no: I can sell this car for 700, I’m sure of it.

Rob
I’ve got the cash. You couldn’t do it for 550?

Neil
No.

Rob
You couldn’t do a bit cheaper, could you?

Neil
I’ll tell you what, I could probably do it for 650.

Rob
650?

Neil
650, yeah. You can’t say fairer than that.

Rob
Well, is that really your __________________?

Neil
It’s my best price. 650. Come on.

Rob
I’ve got all the cash here. I haven’t got 650, I’ve got 600. I’ll give you 600 for it.

Neil
630, how about that? I’ve just ________________ another £20.

Rob
It’s too much: I haven’t got ________________ of money. Look, I saw it down the road for 600. In fact, I think I might go there and buy it. Thanks anyway, bye.

Neil
Hang on, hang on, let’s not be silly here. Let’s not be silly here. I’ll tell you what. 600.

Rob
600. It’s a _________.

Neil
Go on then. 

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