Author Topic: Do you ask for discounts?  (Read 5876 times)

Melisande

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Do you ask for discounts?
« on: January 13, 2017, 10:39:10 AM »
I was wondering how many people here routinely ask for discounts. I mean above and beyond any existing sale, if there is one. My mother always did this, so, although I wouldn't say that it is second nature for me, I have no problem whatsoever asking for one. 

Today, I had to bring our 2007 Prius back into the shop for standard maintenance (oil change, etc. -- the "maintenance required" light had gone on). I was feeling pretty sore as we had just -- and I mean just as in yesterday -- had a major repair done (had to replace the computer for the transmission) to the tune of $975. And the day before that we wound up having to pay $643 for a tow since the car broke down (as in literally died) while we were miles from civilization. Today, they originally came back with $400 worth of maintenance work to be done. But I politely protested (hey guys, I just dropped almost $1000 here yesterday, give me a break, OK?) and eventually got them to do all the work for a mere (ha ha) $280.

I also ask for discounts sometimes if the merchandise shows any slight defect. One thing I haven't done, however, is simply ask for a discount out of the blue. You can google "good guy discount" if you've never heard of such a thing.

You? Do you ask for discounts with cause? Or do you go farther and ask just because you are a "good guy?" Or do you generally not ask at all?

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1656
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 12:05:24 PM »
I sometimes ask for discounts, depending on the vendor and product.

But to help you out.....you need to look at night classes at trade schools to learn to do car repairs yourself.  And maybe trade in that clunker for a Corolla or something reliable.

NV Teacher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 12:58:03 PM »
I do sometimes.  I usually try and use the "poor school teacher" sympathy card.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I just figure it never hurts to ask.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 01:02:44 PM »
i tend to work every system i can.. but i just took my car in to get what i thought would be pads done but it needed rotors/pads/calipers.  2500 bucks all said and done.  but the guy just assumed people wouldnt want to pay that so he pulled every discount he could find and put it on there.  1300 out the door.  could have had my buddy do it for around 800 parts and labor in hind sight but still ... large bills most people assume you're a normal american and freak out when you see something that high.

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2373
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 01:14:04 PM »
I ask for law enforcement and veteran's discounts and get one or the other at most places.  the veteran's discount alone has saved me a bunch of money at Valvoline on oil changes, and on my climbing gym membership.

mindy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 02:03:35 PM »
I have mixed feelings about asking for discounts. If it's something that I know has been considerably marked up, then I don't mind. However, if I think asking for a discount will take it below cost, then it feels wrong. It just bothers me when people try to abuse discounts. For instance, I have a friend who's a tattoo artist and people are constantly asking him for "friend" discounts that would essentially lose him money. The sad part about it is that they always get mad when he says he can't do that. You want him to basically pay for your tattoo? Right...

MichaelB

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • FIRE goal: April 2032
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 02:30:18 PM »
I'm going to guess that the answer to this has a lot to do with whether you're an asker or a guesser.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/05/askers-vs-guessers/340891/

I'm much more of a guesser, so I don't think I'd ask for a discount I didn't think I was entitled to.

Dave1442397

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1182
  • Location: NJ
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 03:08:23 PM »
We bought new phones at the Verizon store last summer, and every time they quoted me a price, I said "Hmm, is that the best you can do?". We ended up with free phone insurance, a cheaper plan with more data, a few other discounts, and $10 a month off the bill because my employer has some deal with Verizon.

I never specifically ask for a discount. Sometimes I'll ask what I said above, and sometimes I'll just sigh and say "That's so expensive...I'm not sure I can afford it", and see what happens.

HenryDavid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 473
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 03:36:15 PM »
Yup. Needed a new rear gear changer for my winter bike. Cheap place is 40 mins. pedalling in -20 Celsius away. Checked their price online, walked to close place, price is $10 more. Told them I'd reluctantly go to cheap place for $10 difference. They went online, confirmed my story. The price instantly dropped--by $12.
Loyal local customer! Always ask.
I put the$2 difference in the mechanics tip jar/beer fund. They do free small fixes sometimes.

Bimmy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 08:57:24 AM »
Lowes and Home depot both give me a 10% discount for being a veteran. That has saved us a notable chunk of money since we bought a house. Chick-fil-a and Savers (thrift store) also give me a veteran's discount. That really adds up.

I do believe everything is negotiable. We have a medical sharing plan with a high-ish deductible (not health insurance exactly) so I come out of pocket for a lot of things (prescriptions, doctors visits, etc.). There is a massive mark up on things medical. I am amazed at how much a hospital/doctor will drop a price to get payment in full.


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 09:11:43 AM »
Lowes and Home depot both give me a 10% discount for being a veteran. That has saved us a notable chunk of money since we bought a house. Chick-fil-a and Savers (thrift store) also give me a veteran's discount. That really adds up.

I do believe everything is negotiable. We have a medical sharing plan with a high-ish deductible (not health insurance exactly) so I come out of pocket for a lot of things (prescriptions, doctors visits, etc.). There is a massive mark up on things medical. I am amazed at how much a hospital/doctor will drop a price to get payment in full.

Someone in the fire community needs to do a write-up on medical sharing plans. These look fabulous from the outside in. 1500 family out of pocket then sharing costs. I'm intrigued. Life time max 1MM.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 09:14:48 AM »
Any time I'm at a smaller shop or making a big purchase I ask for a cash discount.

Saves them the 3% CC fees, and if they offer a 1.5% discount or something we both come out ahead.

If not, I just use a cc for the points.

Mezzie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
    • Mezzie Learns
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 11:02:00 AM »
I've gotten a couple good discounts on things for my students. I've never asked for myself; I don't want to use up the goodwill out there on me. I get by fine.

Mezzie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
    • Mezzie Learns
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 11:03:09 AM »
Actually, I just remembered -- I negotiated a great discount on a gym membership. But I think that's it.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7845
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 11:50:01 AM »
Any time I'm at a smaller shop or making a big purchase I ask for a cash discount.

Saves them the 3% CC fees, and if they offer a 1.5% discount or something we both come out ahead.

If not, I just use a cc for the points.
Most of my cc are worth more than 1.5%

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2017, 01:29:40 PM »
Most of my cc are worth more than 1.5%

And usually I get more than 1.5% or so - that's just an example of a situation in which both sides, except the CC company, win.

I haven't figured out how to get more than about 2% on things like auto repair or random electronics purchases from local companies with my CCs, and they're not frequent enough that it's worth going out of my way to optimize those.  I can do my own work, I just didn't feel like spending a lot of time on frozen ground to replace a speed sensor in my rear diff. :)

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6956
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2017, 02:23:28 PM »
Any time I'm at a smaller shop or making a big purchase I ask for a cash discount.

Saves them the 3% CC fees, and if they offer a 1.5% discount or something we both come out ahead.

If not, I just use a cc for the points.

They probably come out ahead further because a common tactic is to not record the cash sale and therefore not remit the sales tax to the tax authority.

Our GST rate is 10% and it's amazing how many take away shops will give discounts for cash sales.

Everytime this happens, taxes have to be higher for everyone else to make up for it.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2017, 02:42:03 PM »
I have no way of knowing what their backend business practices are.

Monkey Uncle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1600
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 09:45:06 AM »
I always try to get a discount for any big ticket items.  Usually I say something like "is that your best price" or "can you do any better" or "I found it on line for x."  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I've tried twice in the last year to haggle my internet/cable provider down, but they won't budge.  They know that my only other options are really crappy satellite and DSL services.

Just bought a new freezer on Saturday.  On the way into the store, my wife spilled the beans that our old freezer was making a horrible noise.  Of course they wouldn't budge off of the sticker price.  I even got a slightly lower quote from another store, but they would not match it.  Ended up not buying from the lower priced store because it would have taken four days to get it delivered.  After making the purchase, the old freezer quit making the horrible noise.  Shit.  We didn't back out on the purchase, though, because we were pretty sure the 20+ year old freezer was on its last legs.  Moral of the story - never let the vendor know you're desperate.

Monkey Uncle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1600
  • Location: West-by-god-Virginia
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2017, 09:46:38 AM »
Lowes and Home depot both give me a 10% discount for being a veteran. That has saved us a notable chunk of money since we bought a house. Chick-fil-a and Savers (thrift store) also give me a veteran's discount. That really adds up.

I do believe everything is negotiable. We have a medical sharing plan with a high-ish deductible (not health insurance exactly) so I come out of pocket for a lot of things (prescriptions, doctors visits, etc.). There is a massive mark up on things medical. I am amazed at how much a hospital/doctor will drop a price to get payment in full.

Someone in the fire community needs to do a write-up on medical sharing plans. These look fabulous from the outside in. 1500 family out of pocket then sharing costs. I'm intrigued. Life time max 1MM.

I remember a thread a while back that discussed these in some detail.  I seriously doubt I could find the thread, though, as it was probably one of the umpteen gazillion threads about the ACA.

bigalsmith101

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 520
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Lake Stevens, WA
  • Yes, that's really my face.
    • No Jobs, No Responsibilities, No Better Time then Now
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 11:31:00 AM »
I have absolutely no qualms about asking for a discount at a retail shop or part supplier, or any store in general really. The exceptions I make are for any family run operations that are small businesses. Chain stores are up for the discount bonanza.

Most of the time, I'll make polite conversation with the cashier or attendant and then when it's time to pay, I use the following verbiage nearly verbatim.

"Are there any sweet discounts available?"  or  "What's the best price to be had on this thing"

Or if the person behind the counter looks friendly and can handle it

"What's your best, no b.s., can't take a single penny less price?"

Most of the time I'm making jokes and having a good time with the store employee, and we're all having a good time. If it makes the person nervous, I tend to back off.

It nearly always makes my wife feel awkward, but I don't mind at all, I've saved thousands of dollars in the past many years simply asking for a discount. I also try to price match anytime I can.

KT Beans

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 01:37:09 PM »
I once bought a canning supply set at a second hand shop.  It was in the original box, and only had four of the five pieces it was supposed to have.  The one piece missing was tongs which I didn't care about but I still took the opportunity to ask for a discount.  And they gave it to me!  I know it was only a couple dollars, but I will do this when I can in these types of situations.

You can also ask for discounts in retail stores; I once read a blog entry where the writer asked for a discount on a discounted item.  She asked to speak to the manager, pointed out small flaws and they gave her extra money off the already discounted price!! 

FIRE Artist

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
  • Location: YEG
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 02:25:13 PM »
This is an interesting question.  I will haggle in places that I think is appropriate, like when visiting a foreign market, or at local second hand and antique shops, but I wouldn't do so in a regular shop.  In general, I don't purchase a large variety of things or services, and those that I use regularly I get discounts for, either by waiting for their sales, or with discount cards (like 10% off at the art supply store for being a student).  I buy very little in the way of consumer goods off the rack at the full sticker price and always price compare with Amazon and Ebay. 

I think my only good opportunities to haggle would be on my twice annual tire change and once annual car maintenance at the local shop, and my annual furnace inspection and tune-up.  I already get a discount and cash back on the auto maintenance with their loyalty card, but everyone who goes there would get that, so it really isn't a true discount. 

Is anyone successfully haggling in the online economy?  How would that work?

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2017, 04:00:16 PM »
I've definitely done that.

Got a Wii back when they were fresh doing that. Low balled badly, got turned down, said I had cash on hand, call me back, my offer stands until the end of the day.

Got it, parted out the stuff I didn't care about, played with it for a while and sold it off. I ended up turning quite the profit on that deal.

JAYSLOL

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1367
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2017, 09:05:52 AM »
Oh, hell yeah i ask for discounts.  I even went with a buddy the other day to Home Depot and he ended up buying some some fancy tool cases and was about to pay full price when i interupted and got the guy to give him a good discount, lol. 

KT Beans

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2017, 10:33:22 AM »
I almost always ask for money off when I buy used stuff online (the majority of what I buy!).  The exception is when it's a hot item and there are like 10 people after me asking to be "next".

Everything used is open to negotiation. If someone says they're firm on price I'll often take it as an opportunity to walk away and save that money!

kandj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2017, 10:50:01 AM »
I personally wouldn't feel comfortable asking for a discount out of the blue, but my husband is a manager at a family owned sporting goods/clothes store and tons of people ask. They don't always get anything but if you are polite and bundling stuff or spending a decent amount they are happy to discount something for you being a local shopper. My husband actually enjoys negotiating with customers about what kind of discount they might get - and denying discounts to rude people. Pays to be kind!

VeggieTable

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 143
  • Location: GA
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2017, 05:39:47 PM »
My friend was considering buying a wagon on clearance for her son in Toys R Us. It had a price of about $100 on the tag. The manager saw us looking, said he was eager to get rid of the clearance items to make way for other merchandise, and would knock $40 off the price. Friend didn't end up buying it, but I learned that even retail "firm" prices are negotiable!

Personally I'd never buy toys new since they're so cheap used, but the negotiated new/clearance price was competitive with used.

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2068
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2017, 06:28:46 PM »
I am not a big consumer, so I typically don't ask for discounts. Of the stuff that I do buy, it mostly comes from Costco and from Amazon.

I actually got a discount once from Costco for being a nice guy. I didn't ask for a discount. I was buying a bathroom vanity. It took forever because they couldn't find any models in the warehouse. After about one hour of waiting, the store manager sold me the floor model for a $200 discount. I think the original price was $899.

The last time my car needed repair, I figured it out by myself by watching youtube (new starter).

momcpa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2017, 09:18:34 PM »
I was in a department store looking at new coats.  The coats were being discounted nearly 50% (end of year or something).  I had a 20% discount coupon with me good for that date.  I had a $5 or $10 store "bucks" from buying something a couple weeks earlier.  There was only one coat on the rack in the size that I needed.  It had a button missing on a decorative stripe.  Not a missing button down the front.

When I went to check out, I mentioned the missing button.  The clerk said to get a different coat.  I said it was the only one there that fit me, but I would take it if she could adjust the price for the missing decoration.  She did.   I got a relatively expensive coat for a couple dollars.  I felt I scored pretty good.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1325
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2017, 12:32:16 PM »
I sometimes ask for discounts, but it depends where I am. I recently bought a textbook, opened it up and realized a few of the pages were sliced. Went right back into the store and asked for some of my money back (it was the last copy) and got 15% back. If I'm at a regular store I usually won't ask for a discount, but usually when traveling I haggle. And usually if I'm buying on craigslist or kijiji I ask for a discount. Saves me some money here and there.

seemsright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 285
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2017, 12:44:55 PM »
The other day at the grocery store I wanted some peppers to go with my the meal I was making that evening. But they wanted $2 a pound for them and they looked very sad. I asked the produce guy was there a way that he could discount them for me as they were looking sad and I was not going to pay $2 a pound for them. He goes in the back asked his manager and comes back out with a bag. He puts all but 2 peppers into said bag and marks a $1 on it.

I got enough peppers for dinner that evening, a meal all weekend and just enough to make a kick ass pot of chili some time this week.

Score.

TheBeardandTheBohemian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2017, 01:49:25 PM »
We ask for discounts all the time one time we ask for a discount and they gave us they aarp discount on a pizzaand my wife wasn't even legally able to drink at the time.  Most the time if you ask small businesses will give you a discount. Home Depot Lowes and any other hardware store will often time give you discounts on lumber or other supplies if they're small defects and it.

Once you overcome the fear of rejection you  Will be asking every one from the grocery store to your car insurance for a discount

FireZoneBlitz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Do you ask for discounts?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2017, 02:57:28 PM »
If I'm paying more than $200 for something I will ask if there is a discount if I pay cash.  Sometimes it works.  This is more for service bills (car repair, electrical work, etc).