Millennials Are Bringing Bargaining Back

Photo Credit: Auston Hensley

When life gives you lemons, see if you can get a few more.

Many people see millennials as entitled, including sellers. Millennials, for their part, argue that the times are turning them into tougher customers. In either case, haggling is an ancient practice that is still employed in much of the world today. Millennials in the US seem to be bringing the practice back, as they are budgeting and even negotiating when it comes to almost every aspect of their lives, according to MarketWatch.

Haggling is either considered appropriate or very rude depending on the venue you are shopping at. You might try to get a deal at your local bike repair shop, or at a local grocer, but would you try to negotiate with hotel reception? Some millennials argue that this habit has gotten them discounts at hotels, airlines, and even on home appliances. One proposed reason for this is the fact that the young have seen their older family members struggle through the recent recession, and are less willing to defer to authority as a result. Then of course there is the most obvious explanation: millennials simply have more reason to haggle than their elder family members. Rising student loan debt, stagnant wages, and the ever-rising cost of living has created a new necessity for haggling, many argue.

There are of course less endearing explanations for this trend. The National Institutes of Health said the incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is three times higher for those in their 20s than those in their retirement years. This is a fact that many have picked up on to bash millennials for their real or perceived narcissism. Regardless, these findings represent a change in culture among young adults. While haggling may be looked down upon by many Americans today for being perceived as a habit of the entitled, haggling often occurs out of perceived or real necessity. This would also explain a few other trends: millennials prefer more ‘authentic’ interactions with sales associates, and millennials also engage in fewer formalities at the workplace.

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12 months ago