Just ask. Two words and great advice. You don’t have to be a high-pressure pitchman, a bullheaded jerk or a confrontational customer with a business or seller just to get a discount or items for free. Here’s what I have done recently to get items for free or significantly discounted.
- Called my bank and asked them for a lower rate on my car loan. I did not have to threaten them or be mean in any way. I merely told them I thought a lower rate was possible since rates had declined recently. It’s mentioned in detail on how I did it and how my brother and father did it as well right here (last paragraph on the page).
- Called my cable company and said “I’m jumping ship and going to satellite dish. What can you do to keep my business?” Wham! $20/month off my bill for three months. That was pretty cool. $60 with 5 minutes of work. I’m still contemplating the switch to satellite.
- My wife and I found a cordless phone at Target we liked the other day but noticed the last remaining one had an open box and was clearly a return. We have no problem buying a returned item as long as it’s in near-perfect condition. When we were about 10 feet from the checkout we lucked out and the manager of the store walked by. “Could you discount this since it’s an open box?” Wham! 20% off on the spot. Saved us twenty bucks. Luckily we did not cave in and send that money right back to the store for our five-year-old’s life desire for the moment.
- For one summer season I paid someone to mow our lawn. Three of us were all using the same landscaper. Finally one of us had the brilliant idea to ask him for a discount since we were giving him a convenient set of customers all within 100 feet of each other. He discounted each of our bills 30% per month. All we had to do was ask.
- I have a business checking account at a local bank (only because the Greatest Bank Ever does not offer business checking). Apparently I did not pay close attention to that business account recently and some checks bounced. Now, since my personal bank account has been at the Greatest Bank Ever for 12 years now I was pretty uneducated about current insufficient funds fees (or “bounced check fees” as they are called). After seeing multiple charges for $33 per bounced checks I about had a myocardial infarction. I then drove to speak with the branch manager. I calmly and politely explained to her that I had been banking there for over a year and was pleased with the employees and customer service. I then just asked “is there anything you can do about these $33 fees for insufficient funds?” She immediately replied “sure, we can get rid of those.” Wow, enough said. Perhaps the bank treats “business” customers on a different playing field than “consumer” accounts, but the end result made me pleased, needless to say.
- Technically this one was from my brother, but the concepts are still the same. My brother had been planning to buy a new washer and dryer for his apartment and his roommate wanted to buy a new big TV and stereo system. They agreed to go to Best Buy together and see what kind of a deal they could get knowing they were going to be spending upwards of $2500. After they had tallied the total cost of all the items they politely just asked the salesman on the floor for a discount of $500 off the total price. Remarkably, he gave it to them.
As mentioned at the start of this article, you needn’t be a high-pressure, manipulative customer to get these kinds of deals. Use some common sense, a little research and then just ask.