Ask & You Shall Receive

12 Nov

Photo by Tobi Firestone via Flickr

Photo by Tobi Firestone via Flickr

As I’ve mentioned in a few posts, my husband is a seriously savvy shopper. I’ve picked up a few of his frugal habits including unit-price comparison and just walking away when the deal isn’t good enough.

While I spend most of my discretionary income on clothes and shoes, my husband has a weakness for tech gadgets. His electronic acumen saves us quite a bit of money, actually; for example, we don’t have cable or Tivo. Instead, we get over-the-air channels in HD thanks to some wicked-cool antennas he built for us and tethered in the attic. We stream Netflix, listen to our music collection and DVR all our favorite shows through a single computer he set up with Windows Media Center. He also helped turn my iPad into small laptop with the purchase of a Logitech tablet keyboard.

Oh, and he cooks. And homebrews. And changes the oil, filter and brake pads on our vehicles. Do I have it good or do I have it good?

Recently, he’s had his eye on the Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth speaker. It’s a pretty sweet device that streams music from your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player via bluetooth, and it sounds like a professional audio system. The listing price is $199 and he wasn’t about to pay it, so I thought it was just another gadget he’d swoon over until next year when it dropped in price. That’s why I was surprised to find a Verizon shopping bag on our counter when I came home last week.

Apparently he’d been to the store earlier that day with a coworker to purchase a smartphone upgrade for the business, and asked the sales clerk if she’d be willing to knock some money off the Bose speaker if they went with a certain upgrade. She offered him $25 off the purchase price, and with the $50 gift card he’s held onto for over two years, he got the speaker for nearly 40-percent off.

Despite everything I know about saving money, I’m still hesitant to ask for a discount when I don’t feel there is some compelling reason for the salesperson to give it to me. Granted, my husband’s discount was contingent upon them buying a smartphone, but they intended to do that anyway. Obviously I still have more to learn from my haggling husband.

Have you scored a discount by just asking? Do tell.

13 Responses to “Ask & You Shall Receive”

  1. Stu @ Poor Student November 13, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    I’ve given a discount when somebody asks when I used to work in a store. They have to be really friendly though !

    • Kendal November 13, 2013 at 2:15 am #

      That’s good to know! I worked in retail for a few years but I was so young at the time (high school) that I didn’t feel I had the authority to offer a discount. It’s great customer service to offer deals!

  2. Budget and the Beach November 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I think that’s so awesome you have a handy husband! I need/want one of those! :) I think it can never hurt to ask. I asked my landlord for a discount when I was really struggling and he took $50 off my rent each month. I was really surprised. The worst that can happen is they say no.

    • Kendal November 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      He is beyond handy — definitely a trait you should look for! How great that your landlord gave you a break. You’re right, sometimes the hardest thing is asking but people may surprise you. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Travis @debtchronicles November 14, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    When we check into a hotel (or make the reservation, or both) my wife always asks if they can give us a better rate. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – but she ALWAYS asks. :)

    • Kendal November 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Good for her! I should get into that habit, too. I once booked a hotel room and my friend who was traveling with me arrived first. She managed to get us upgraded — free of charge — to one of the best rooms in the hotel just by asking. I was amazed!

  4. Prudence Debtfree November 14, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    There are many areas in which I could use some improvement in money management, and this is one of them. Negotiating discounts and deals is way out of my comfort zone. I think I suffer from chronic politeness, and I would feel rude asking for anything but the given price. I would like to get over that viewpoint and develop the proficiency your husband has in finding ways to save money – but I’m pretty sure that’s a long way off. Any suggestions for starting points for beginners?

    • Kendal November 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      I’m right there with you. I also feel like it’s rude to ask for a discount, since I assume the product would already be offered a discounted price if they wanted to sell it for any less! My husband and others have taught me that’s not always the case. In fact, one commenter indicated he typically gave discounts to those who asked nicely. So, I think that’s the first tip: ask politely if what they’re asking for is the best price they can offer. You can also ask about upcoming promotions or discounts that might reduce the price point of the product — in some cases, they’ll give it to you early just to make the sale.

  5. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life November 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I’ll ask for a discount if I can find some way to justify it. For instance, if I want something from a restaurant but it has meat in it, I’ll ask for the meat to be taken off and the price to be knocked down. Or if I find a piece of clothing with a stain or minor defect, I’ll ask for a discount. Asking for a discount with nothing though, that’s tough.

  6. Holly@ClubThrifty November 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Sweet! Sounds like you have an awesome man who knows how to get a deal. So do I! =)

    • Kendal December 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Life is grand, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting, Holly!

  7. Abigail November 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    A lot of times you’ll see a senior discount but no disabled discount. The two are based on the same idea — both tend to be living on limited incomes — so when I was on disability, I’d ask. Sometimes they said no, sometimes they made an exception. I had around $300 of dental work, so I was glad they said yes to that one!

    • Kendal December 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      That’s a good point, Abigail. Asking for a discount is especially important when businesses don’t think to make those distinctions. Thanks for commenting!