Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It Doesn't Hurt to Ask

When saving money in small amounts I often evaluate the process like this:  Would I be excited if I found X amount of money on the street?  Heck yes I would!! I get excited to pick up a penny off the street, so I am ALWAYS excited to find new ways to save money, or "find" money that I didn't originally have.  

In the past couple of months, one of the easiest ways I've been finding money is through asking for discounts, and so far, I have not been denied.  It is shocking!  20/20, Dateline, and other news shows are continuously doing shows where their reporter goes to the local mall and haggles prices.  95% of the time they receive their desired price, or at least a significant discount.  While I am unwilling to attempt this fine art, I am willing to ask for a discount occasionally.  Let me give you a few examples:

Meet the newest edition to our family.  You can get this gorgeous Thomas O'Brien down at your local Target.  We needed to get a rug for our dining room so we could transfer our existing rug to Emerson's room, which was greatly needed as she is becoming more mobile.  As we were headed to the check out at Target I noticed a small orange smudge on the cream trim of our rug.  It wasn't anything significant & resembled a Cheeto covered hand print (that I figured would come out easily), but I wanted to see if they would come off the price.  I asked the next Target employee I saw if I could get a discount, as it was the last rug, and sure enough, she gave us a 5% discount!  It wasn't huge, but it save us around $8. 

For Christmas, I wanted to get E one of these classic Fisher-Price chatter telephones.  Target had some, but when I went looking they only had one left and it looked like the box had been to Nam and back.  It was shredded.  The toy inside was in mint condition, but the box was not in presentable shape.  I asked if they had any more, they didn't; I asked for a discount & received 10% off.  In this instance, this worked because E will only be 10 months old when she opens her presents, but it could work if it was something that was just for your use.  Another time I went to buy diapers at Target and the only package left in the size I needed was opened.  All of the diapers were there, but Target didn't have any other packages.  When I asked for the discount they gave me 10% off.

I was in love with these little socks well before Emerson was born, so once she was born I was thrilled when I found them at Kohls.  They only had one box left and again, the box was in horrible shape, but the socks were all still there.  I asked the cashier if I could receive a discount and she happily gave me 15% off.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you become an unethical miser and harm your future purchases intentionally, but, if you do come across something that you are genuinely interested in buying that has some form of a defect, gather your courage, and ask for a discount.  In most cases the store will gladly give it to you.

Also, if you have a store coupon, but forgot it, don't be afraid to ask for that discount as well!  I was at Kohl's shopping Halloween clearance and forgot my 15% off coupon.  I asked the clerk if I could still get my discount and he gave it to me on top of the clearance prices.  

 Whether it is a missed coupon or a flaw in a product, consider asking for a discount.  There is absolutely no harm in asking, if they don't give you the discount, you can evaluate whether you would like to pay full price.  Go ahead, get brave, and ask!  In the end you'll probably come out money ahead!

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