Don’t Be Shy and Stretch Your Money

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800px-thumbnailOne reason many people may miss a discounted price is that they are too shy to ask for it. I’m not.

I am willing to pay what something is worth if I need the item, but if there is a discount available, I am frugal enough to ask for the discount. Occasionally, you can receive a discount even if it is not advertised. Most managers have leeway to do so.

Retailers know that if you are in their store, there is a good probability that you will purchase more than what you came into the store for. They may even advertise loss leaders – items that are sold below cost simply to attract you into their store. Often these advertised items do not ring up at the discounted price at the cash register. I watch closely to make sure they do. If I am not sure the right price was rung up while I was in line, I check the receipt before leaving the store to avoid having to do what I have done on rare occasions – return to the store with the item and the receipt to get the difference!

This also works with items that you already have and feel that you are not getting the value advertised. For instance, I recently paid a highly discounted price for a couple of magazine subscriptions. After receiving another introductory offer just like the one I had mailed in (several months later), I emailed the company and told them that I had already sent in my payment – giving them date and check number, but had not received my magazines yet. I started receiving one magazine, but not the other nor did I get the free tote that was promised with the subscription. So, I emailed them again reminding them of the original offer. I have since started receiving magazine subscription #2, but not the tote. I will give it some more time and then contact them again.

At one time, a certain brand of ceramic cookware had a lifetime guarantee against breakage (they don’t anymore). When one of my pieces did crack in my oven, I took it to the store to get it replaced (which is what the warranty said to do). The sales person refused to replace it. When I took a piece from her display and showed her on the box what it said and asked to talk to the manager, she changed her mind. I left with my replacement cookware.

Retailers count on the fact that most people will not ask for a discount, check their receipt or make a company stand good for their warranty. Think of it this way. That’s like asking a store to keep YOUR money.

The possibilities of this are endless. Don’t lose out on what a retailer has promised because you are too shy to ask for it. I don’t.

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