Skip to Content

Tuesday Tip | Ask for a discount.

This is a tough one for me because I’m a people-pleaser at the core.   I don’t like to rock the boat, I don’t like to be “inconvenient”, and I don’t like to make anyone uncomfortable.

These qualities don’t exactly make one a natural-born haggler.

BUT.

Much as I don’t like to be a problem for other people, I also really do not like to spend money.

So, sometimes I screw up the courage to ask for a discount.

(like when I asked for a discount on my faucet with the damaged box.)

What I remind myself of is this: the very worst thing I can hear is a no.

And if I do hear a no, I’m not any worse off than if I’d never asked.

The best-case scenario is that I’ll get the product/service I want and I’ll also get to keep more of my money.   Win-win!

A couple of tips:

  • Ask nicely. Smile, be agreeable, and treat the other person like the human being that they are.
  • Acknowledge that they’re not obligated to give you the discount.   A demanding attitude usually doesn’t work too well.
  • Have a good reason or two to ask for the discount (The box is damaged. The car you’re selling needs a new tire. The package came later than was promised. This item of clothing has a stain.)
  • If there’s a benefit for the other party, mention it. (“I’ll buy the item with the damaged box so that you don’t have to mark it out of stock.” Or, “If I get multiple neighbors to sign up for your service, that could save your technician time and gas.”
  • Let the other person suggest a discount because they might suggest more than you’d ask for.

Lastly: Use common sense to avoid being an obnoxious cheapskate. If you try to haggle the price on a perfectly good item offered at a perfectly good price and you’ve got no reason to ask for a discount, you will just make yourself odious. 😉

Let it be known: I do not encourage obnoxious frugality.

But when there ARE good reasons to ask for a discount, and/or there are benefits you can offer to the other party, then hey, be brave enough to speak up!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Heather

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

I can understand asking for a discount on something that is less than perfect or most likely will not be appealing to any other buyers, but a messed up faucet box has no impact on the item. That’s just cheap and insulting to the store!!

Laura

Wednesday 4th of July 2018

My grandma used to always say, “if you don’t open your mouth, you open your wallet.”

Debbie

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

I employed this technique twice when buying slightly imperfect clothes I liked at a store. Once, a cardigan was missing a button, but had an extra button attached to the tag, so it wasn't a big deal for me to sew it on. I politely asked if they would discount it since it was missing the button and they did! Plus it was the only one left in my size so I couldn't find another. The second time I found a pair of khakis in my size and in the color I wanted, which was the last one in stock, but had a slight discoloration/stain on it. I guessed it could probably be washed out, and asked if they could give me a discount since it was the last one left in my size. I was floored when they gave me 20% off with the caveat it was non-returnable. Which was totally fine with me, since I happened to be shopping on a out-of-town trip and couldn't return it even if I wanted to.

Lindsey

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

My husband is shameless about asking for discounts. Always appropriate and always nicely but it makes me cringe. Sometimes he warns me that he will be negotiating, so I can go back to the car and wait.

Kristen

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

This cracks me up!

Irena Gallo

Tuesday 3rd of July 2018

In addition to asking for discounts on products or services with some defect, etc., there are times when it is appropriate to get a discount via customer service when you are calling about a problem with delivery (food from supermarkets, etc.) such as many hours after the time you specified for the delivery window; item did not arrive on the date it was said it would be there, etc.

In those cases, it pays to state your problem as clearly as possible and then, very politely, enlist the help of the CS rep to "solve" it. ("Can you help me with this? Who should I speak to about this problem? What can you do?)

Generally, if you are dealing with a good company, the CS rep will suggest giving you a $ amount off your order. If you feel it represents your inconvenience, you can accept. Haggeling doesn't tend to up the offer because they will probably straight out give you the maximum.

NOTE: If you get no offer for a discount, ask to speak to a supervisor.

And if this is a recurring problem (late deliveries), ask for the supervisor straight off.

If you're dealing with companies that offer no "solution" or discount of any kind, consider switching.

If you are a regular and/or "good" ($$$ spent) customer, it behooves them to give you a $ discount off your order or something equivalent (A free delivery next order, something.)

When companies offer nothing, I consider that when/if I order again from them.

The more polite you are and the better your communication of the problem and the inconvenience for you, the generally better outcome. Always be calm and don't threaten.

If you get to someone who is not listening or open, ask to speak to someone else. Sometimes you will have to call back.

It's also important to deal with the most reputable/established companies in your area, nationally, regionally. I'm not against small businesses. In fact, sometimes they are the best to deal with. But larger companies can afford (literally) to cut you some discounts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.