General

Want to Pay Less? Freaking Ask For It!

ask for a lower priceA few weeks ago I was with my buddy helping him in his yard.  That turned into us renting an aerator and preparing three lawns for the winter.  I am proud to report that my lawn is growing nicely and I am happy about it.  OK, sorry for the tiny tangent there, but the part of the story where this post comes from deals with services.  Where are you going with this Grayson?  Stick with me my friends.  My mind works in mysterious ways! My buddy moved into his house about a year ago and worked hard to fix it up. I was there for much of it and helped out doing a lot of things.  For those who are homeowners, you know what I’m talking about.  His house was in a cul-de-sac with a lot of trees. Unfortunately, those trees were providing too much shade and causing the yard to stay wet.  We have the same problem at our new house.  To take care of the issue, he called a tree trimming company to take down some of the bigger trees.  They did a great job, so good that his mother asked about pricing.

Want a Lower Price?  Just Ask!

It was the middle of the summer and the tree company gave her a quote for the number of trees.  The first question she asked them was “how can I get a better deal?”  She has always been frugal (not cheap) and it her question is right to the point.  Without missing a beat, the tree company told her if she didn’t need the trees cut down immediately, then to call them in the winter.  Their prices are lower in the winter because of less work.  Now that is what I am talking about. My friend’s mother saved nearly 50% by just asking a simple question.  She also learned something valuable and so did I.  If you are asking a service for a quote, never be afraid to ask for a discount or how you can get the service cheaper.  The tree company literally gave her the best time to call them for service.  They are slow in the winter and give discounts on what they provide. Who wouldn’t want to save 50% by doing almost nothing?

I Love to Negotiate, but Hate to Haggle!

No, this isn’t me.  Someone told me this the other day.  They said they love to negotiate a lower price, but hate haggling.  I believe it is the same exact thing, because it is.  Haggling is a dirty alternative to negotiating.  I think people only talk about the haggle when dealing with car dealerships.  So, car dealers made the word haggle dirty.  I am a fan of negotiating.  I will call it whatever you want as long as my price comes down.  There is nothing wrong with the art of negotiation and I have met quite a few people who are excellent at it. They will negotiate a price at Walmart and come out on top.  I can’t fault anyone for winning a pricing game with Walmart.

Just because you see a price sticker, doesn’t mean you have to pay it.  Yes, there are many places which will either laugh at you or tell you to get out.  The gas station is one of them.  They won’t negotiate a lower price for you.  You will have the best luck with getting lower prices from services than with products.  Companies which offer services tend to be flexible with their pricing. They might set it at a rate, but when you ask or “haggle” with them, they could lower it.  The price just provides the basis for starting the negotiation.

If you are a shy person and don’t like to start conflict, then haggling on price might not be for you.  You have to be stern with your request, but you can’t come off overbearing or acting like an a-hole.  That will get you shut down quickly.  I have used the walk-out method quite a few times with great success. It doesn’t work everywhere, but it has a good success ratio.  I have to feel the method is appropriate before I deploy it.  That is the same with any negotiating. You can’t just go in demanding lower prices. That is really not how it works.  Be polite after you hear the pricing and get a feel for the person you are speaking with.  You can go with your gut.  Negotiating works well if you do it right.  It can also backfire on you.

 

Have you ask anyone for a lower price and did it work?

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.

26 Comments

  1. October 6, 2014 at 7:29 am — Reply

    Nice work by your friend’s Mom! I’m all about negotiating to see if we can get a better deal. The way I figure I’m going to ask nicely and the worst they can do is say no. It doesn’t always work, of course, but we’ve had numerous times where we get the price knocked down by simply asking. Sometimes it means paying cash, or waiting a bit longer but as long as I don’t need it right away then I don’t mind.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:31 am — Reply

      Exactly. If you are nice about it, then all they will do is shoot you down with a “no.” It can’t hurt.

  2. October 6, 2014 at 9:48 am — Reply

    I HATE haggling but I LOVE saving money, so that is how I view it when I ask for things cheaper. For the past two years, I have made it a habit of just asking about getting things for less or having fees reversed and I have been told yes way more times than I have been told no. You never know unless you ask.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:32 am — Reply

      I figured the way to save money is to haggle. You might not be able to do one without the other.

  3. October 6, 2014 at 11:54 am — Reply

    I hate to haggle but when people see the gringa asking for a price, they often inflate it. If that seems reasonable, maybe inflated by 5-10% I don’t bother. If that is way too much, I offer them a second chance to give me a reasonable price, and if they don’t, I walk away.
    While I have a hard time negotiating $2 down from artisans who make little money, I have no shame with big companies. I got $100 off a bicycle because it had a small scratch in the paint.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:33 am — Reply

      I typically don’t mind haggling big companies. They have money to burn. I will typically pay small merchants who are making a living from their products and services.

  4. October 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm — Reply

    It’s kind of amazing how low some people will go if you simply ask them for a better deal. That’s how I got half off my Comcast and free HBO! 🙂

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:33 am — Reply

      I know. You never know where the simple question will go.

  5. October 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    When I first got Walmart Family Mobile I had to pay an extra $20 a month to get 3GB instead of 1GB a month before throttling down to 2G. I noticed recently when doing research on Republic vs. Walmart Family Mobile that they are now offering people cheaper plans who signed up after me. I asked for them to match the pricing for me, and they said absolutely. So I’m now saving $20/month.

    I’ve also had people say no, which is fine, it happens, but it does get discouraging if you try to get a lower price and keep getting shot down.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:34 am — Reply

      Nice work DC. I do that when I have a service and then see it on a promo. I will ask for the promo and see what happens.

  6. October 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    I’m with Shannon, I hate the conflict, but my wife thrives on it. We recently bought a piano (which I’m going to write about) and my wife came up with a huge scheme and it totally paid off for us. Don’t like to haggle but man it has saved us a ton of money over the years. One of my new employees used to work at a car dealership and I asked him about what goes on and he told me the sale is way more important than the starting price.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:34 am — Reply

      My wife hates the conflict, but I thrive on it. I don’t know why I do, but I do!

  7. October 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    I always ask for a discount. I simply ask if there is anything they can do to take 5-10% off of the item. Most times, they find a coupon lying around to apply to my purchase.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:35 am — Reply

      Yep, it does work. I have had some people just make up a coupon or just type in the discount.

  8. October 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    I don’t enjoy haggling, but have found that if you give someone your bottom dollar price, they will be OK with it. We’ve done that with buying cars and hiring service for things around the house. It also never hurts to ask for a cash discount. Worst they can say is no. The thing I absolutely can’t stand, though, is like with yard sales when I’m selling an item worth $50 for $5 and they want to pay a quarter. I am NOT a good at haggling back if I’m selling stuff.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:35 am — Reply

      Yeah, there is a difference between one thing and yard sales. What I do when I am throwing a yard sale is inflate the sticker price. That way when people haggle you down lower, it works out in my favor.

  9. October 7, 2014 at 6:33 am — Reply

    Me too! I hate haggling, but that’s the only wat to pay less. I think women are more good at haggling than men. They can use their charming ability! Me? I hardly get success in my haggling endeavour.

  10. October 7, 2014 at 8:11 am — Reply

    I’m not very good at doing this sort of thing….it usually makes for an uncomfortable conversation – at least for me. My wife, on the other hand – she LIVES for asking for a discount. I just step back and watch her work her magic. 🙂

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:36 am — Reply

      My wife is the same as you. She doesn’t mind paying the price as shown. I don’t mind asking for a little lower price.

  11. October 8, 2014 at 7:15 am — Reply

    Great stuff! This is one of my 20 financial principles that I just posted. It’s amazing how much you save over your life if you always just ask for a lower price. The worst that can happen is that they say no. That’s really not the end of the world. It’s always worth asking!

  12. October 8, 2014 at 9:20 am — Reply

    I love haggling! I have always kept this mindset that I helped people earn even through a discounted sale.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:37 am — Reply

      Good point. They are still making a sale, albeit at a lower profit margin.

  13. October 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm — Reply

    I took three items I found in the Wal-Mart clearance aisle and took them to the front desk. All I said was “Hello. I found these in the clearance aisle for $5 each. Can you give me a better discount?” The Wal-Mart employee said “I will give you another 10% off each item.” ……and she was very nice about it!

    • October 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm — Reply

      Well, that is pretty awesome! Can’t complain when they give you another 10% off just for asking.

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