I read an interesting article the other day, a reporter decided to spend 1 day and not pay full price for anything. She did ok, she got some money off on a cab ride, but then over tipped because she was so happy! 🙂
But, many of the things in the article made me think. How many times do we as consumers, overlook savings. I remember when I was pregnant with my first child my parents were going to buy a rocking chair for me. I had picked out the perfect wicker and wood chair, I was in love with it. So, we go in and look at it and I say that’s the one I want and Dad goes and tells the salesman. Well, they didn’t have any others in and they weren’t getting anymore – this floor model was all they had. So, Dad asked for a discount. I was mortified! This was years before I learned how to save ANY money 🙂 . He haggled with the salesman, I got my chair and he got his discount! I can’t tell you how much, because again, I was mortified!
As I look back now, I realize my Dad and Mom did this a lot. They bought demonstrator model cars at the end of the year and paid cash – considerably less than if they had gotten a brand new model. They paid off their credit cards each month, we were NOT well to do or well off by any means, they just knew what they could pay at the end of the month and stayed within that budget. They were not into paying ANY kind of interest at all! So, maybe some of that rubbed off a little on me.
But, as I said we let opportunities pass us by, mostly because it’s “hard” or “embarrassing” to ask for a discount. Believe me the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I’ve always told my kids: “What does it hurt to ask? If they say no, you’re no worse off than you were before you asked!” Honestly, think about the people who say to you “Wow, that’s a great deal, wish I could do that, or wish I had time to do that.”
One of the things the article pointed out and I keep thinking about is that the merchant has a problem and you have the solution. The merchant needs buyers, you have the money to fulfill their need. If you don’t buy it, maybe no one else will and they will be stuck with merchandise they couldn’t sell. So, you are offering to help them with their problem when you offer what you CAN pay with your hard earned money.
Here are a few ways you can start:
When the Dr. gives you a prescription – Ask for a sample (My Mom has done this for years).
Offer to take the “Floor Model” or the slightly damaged item for a lesser price.
When stores have policies like “if it rings up wrong it’s FREE”, hold them to it. I recently got a pair of jeans for $8 less at WalMart because they were in the wrong display – they were stocked incorrectly. They were $20 and rang up for $20, but, when I accompanied the girl doing the price check I pointed out the mistake, she was reluctant, but, she honored the clearance sign.
If you find a recent purchase was cheaper at another store, go back with your receipt and show them the sales ad and ask for the difference. Many stores honor competitors prices and sales, and will gladly do this, too, within a certain time frame.
When shopping at a local or family owned store, ask for a discount.
When dining at a local restaurant, ask them to honor another restaurant’s coupon.
Sometimes these will work and sometimes they won’t. Most of the time if they can’t do it, they will offer a compromise. Again, as I’ve always told my kids: “What does it hurt to ask? If they say no, you’re no worse off than you were before!” But, you may become a better shopper and saver!
Do you have a suggestion or a “haggling story” you could share? Please do, it will help encourage us all to be better negotiators!