“Do you have any coupons” asked the cashier as she rang up my clothing. “No. Do you?” I asked her, mostly joking. “Hmm. Yeah, I actually have one right here you can use,” she said, much to my surprise.
That’s how simple it can be to save money on your purchase.
When most of us think of haggling, car buying springs to mind. But haggling can actually be a great way to get the best bargain on nearly anything you buy. And it doesn’t have to be complicated or embarrassing.
Try these suggestions to get the best bargain, no matter what you’re buying.
Many times, getting the best bargain is as simple as asking for it. When you get to the cash register, try asking something like, “Are there any coupons or discounts for this?”
Gas stations sometimes have rewards programs. Stores often have coupons. You may qualify for a discount based on your age, military service, or because you’re a frequent shopper.
One thing I ask: Do not take the discount if you have to use or open a credit card to do it. Not unless you plan to step to the next register and pay off the card immediately to get the discount. Many of don’t have the discipline to pay off the balance before it earns interest. If you know that’s you, stay away from this game!
Credit card companies charge stores a fee every time you swipe that card. That might not bother you, but guess who is really paying that fee? Shops, especially small businesses, wouldn’t stay in business long if they absorbed that fee. So they pass it along to you.
Checks aren’t much better. Between the risk of them bouncing and the steep fines for trying to cash a rubber check, it’s risky for stores to accept this form of payment.
More and more companies are offering cash discounts these days. If you can get in the habit of carrying cash (use the envelope system!), you can save even more. Don’t see a sign announcing a cash discount? Ask!
Life is busy and sometimes it seems like a waste of time to compare prices. While you might not find the time to compare prices on things under $10, for pricier items it’s worth it. If shopping around saves you even 10% on a $50 item, it’s like being paid $5 for a few swipes on your phone. Worth it.
And if you’re hiring a contractor or services, it’s even more important.
For instance, maybe you’re shopping for windows. Don’t get a quote from one guy and think about whether you’ll take it or leave it. Ask 3 or 4 different contractors for their quotes. That will give you an idea of the average price of that service. Then you can go back to the company you’d prefer to work with and tell them what you’re willing to pay, based on the best bargain you received. Let them take it, leave it, or make their own counteroffer.
It can pay to hang on to your receipts and keep an eye out for sales, even after you’ve bought.
Walmart is well known for their price matching policy. With some caveats, you can mention a lower price somewhere else before you buy and they will give you the lower price.
Many stores will honor a sale after you’ve already bought something. Let’s say you buy a video game this week because Junior had to have it to make his birthday special. Next week, you see an ad for that game at the same store for $10 cheaper. Take in your receipt, and many stores will give you back $10.
The sale has to happen within the returns window (which is usually a couple of weeks to a month long). It saves everyone the hassle of returns.
Take These Steps:
- Shop around whenever you need to make a purchase.
- Ask if they have additional discounts.
- Hang on to the receipt and check the price once a week for a month after your purchase.
- Bank your savings.
This was day 19 in the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series. Go to the bottom of this post to find all the money saving and money making posts in this series!
Getting your best bargain is easier than you think!
Don’t be too shy to ask the cashier for a discount. She’s heard much worse from other customers. Trust me.
How do you make sure you get the best bargain?