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The next time you’re looking for a bargain, gentlemen, you might want to let your wife do the talking.

A study found that women who flirt while negotiating the price of a car can secure a substantial discount.

But, rather unsurprisingly, the ploy only worked when the seller was male.

UK and US researchers carried out a series of experiments on the merits – and drawbacks – of feminine charm.

This was defined as combining warmth and friendliness with playfulness, flattery and sexiness.

In one experiment, around 100 men and women were told to imagine they were selling a car worth £750 (R9600). They were then given written details of a possible female buyer.

Half received a description of a woman who flirted through the negotiation.

Her tactics included looking the seller up and down, leaning forward and touching the seller’s arm, flattering the seller and, finally, winking when asking for his or her best price. The other half read a description of a much more business-like transaction.


The results showed that the flirtatious ‘buyers’ were offered much better deals – but only from male sellers.

On average, those descriptions produced a price almost 20 per cent lower than the no-nonsense ones, the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reports.

It is thought the combination of flirting and friendliness may help women disarm men in negotiations – but it can backfire if women are too friendly, they found.

When women were sellers, rather than buyers, they got a worse deal if they flirted. The research team said this may because the female sellers got the balance wrong.

Laura Kray, of the University of California, said that women who were seen as too friendly could be thought of as pushovers.

‘We found that flirtation, on the other hand, conveys assertiveness and power,’ she said. -Daily Mail