Monday, August 9, 2010

Asking for a discount

I love bargain shopping because it gives me unexplainable thrill. As a little girl my mama always taught me to never be afraid of asking question. Her argument was that is you do not ask, you will never know the answer. When my husband and I started our tightwad journey (my poor husband didn’t have much choice), I decided to try my mama’s approach of simply asking for a discount.

My very first attempt to saving money by asking for a discount was in a meat department at a local grocery store. Thinking that the store would love to have my business, I picked up several packages of meat and asked if a department manager can give me a discount. He said yes, and that was the starting point of my asking game. I felt confident and have used this approach every since. Do I get rejected? Absolutely! But I just brush it off and pretend like it never happened.

Luckily I didn’t have to face rejection at Lowe’s when I spotted a beautiful chandelier with a clearance sticker. Every 6 months Lowe’s switches its light fixture display, which means lots of older models of light fixtures are on sale for very cheap. Our local Lowe’s store just made the switch and the next one will be December/January. A few weekends ago I was a little bored and decided to go shopping by myself. I walked through the isles until I saw “the one”, the beautiful chandelier, which was marked down from $200 to $50. Although the deal seemed too good to pass, I wasn’t quite ready to give the store my $50 dollars.

I decided to use my mama’s approach again and ask a sales associate if the price was final. A sales clerk informed me that the manager of the lighting department is at lunch and he will be the one to decide. I asked if the manager was nice and liked to give out discounts. The sales associate smiled and told me that the manager was too nice. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I made the executive decision to wait for the manager. Five minutes later my conversation with a manager went like this.

Me: Hi! I hear you are the guy with a magic marker who gives big discounts.

The manager (mgmt) laughed.

Mgmt: Who told you that?

Me: I just hear that from your co-workers. (a co-worker picked from the corner and smiled)

Mgmt: they are not telling you the truth.

Me: Well, I was kind of wondering if you can mark down this chandelier a little bit more.

Mgmt: How about I will sell it to you for $30?

Me: Deal! (I was doing a happy dance in my mind)

So instead of paying $200 for a light fixture, I ended up paying $30 dollars plus tax. If I would have never asked for a further discount, I would have always wondered “what if”. But by simply asking a discount, I received a beautiful light fixture and a great deal of savings!

Have you had any success in asking for a discount?


  1. I need to get better about doing this. I'm good at couponing and thrifty ideas, but I'm not too good about asking for discounts! Thanks for the reminder! :)

  2. Oh, and no, I've never read that book. Who is it by? I am reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore right now and it's really good as well!