The sluggish economy is certainly affecting a lot of people these days, and if it’s not affecting you directly, you’re probably cutting back a bit on spending just to be on the safe side…good for you. Nonetheless, we can’t stop shopping completely…we have things we need that just can’t wait. So how do we save money on the things we need to buy? How about asking?

It’s as easy as asking the right questions

It’s so simple, most people don’t even think about it. Next time you’re out shopping for something, try asking if you can get it for less. What you’re shopping for really determines how you ask, so let me give you an example so simple I almost forgot to do it myself.

I was at Best Buy yesterday to pick up a pair of headphones to replace my 5-year-old ear buds that I just couldn’t bring myself to scrap, that is until they completely died. I listen to music when I run, and I run everyday, so to me, headphones are essential. I swung by Best Buy to see if they had the particular model I was looking for and they did…for $35 more than I saw them online earlier in the day. As I stood there pondering whether or not to spend a relatively large chunk of change on these brand new wireless Bluetooth headphones, with the Best Buy associate standing over my shoulder like some evil version of myself trying to convince me to do it, it suddenly dawned on me that I could just ask if they’d match the price online. I asked and the associate said “yes”. Great, $35 saved and all I had to do was ask for it.

Just ask for the discount

While my example may seem brain-dead simple, a lot of people don’t even try it, and there’s some serious money to be saved. Alternatively, you may be able to find savings even if the merchant doesn’t have a price-matching policy in place just by making an offer. You’re likely to have more success with this strategy at smaller retailers because it’s more likely that someone with some real authority is in the building at that moment. Next time you’re about to buy something, stop, tell the nearest employee that you want to purchase this [insert item here], but you think it’s a bit over what you’re looking to spend. Then ask him or her who you could speak with about working out a small discount.

It can’t hurt to try, and it may save you some cash. I’ve personally saved well over $500 in the past 6 months just by asking. Take charge of your finances and start negotiating…merchants need the sales and you need the merchandise…it’s a win-win.

Categories: Finance


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