People are always wondering how I get such good deals. One of the number one tips is: JUST ASK. People are generally pretty helpful, but they won't know how they can help you unless you tell them. That's why you have to ask for what you want. Those of you who know me know that I'm a true blue couponer. But for items where I either cannot get a coupon or just don't have one handy, I usually just ask a few questions to scope out the situation. Here are some popular questions:
To store clerks at the checkout:
"I usually get the coupons in the mail for this store, but I forgot to bring them with me today (or didn't see this month's mailer), would you happen to have a spare I could use for today?"
When there is a tiny (but hardly noticeable) imperfection in an item and there is not another identical one in the store: "Is there any way I can get this item discounted for this scratch, tear, or stain? There aren't any more and this is the last one in the store."
To sales people on the floor of a store:
"Do you know if/when this item is going to go on sale?"
"Are there certain times of year when these types of things are discounted?"
"How long have you had this item in the store?" (another hint that it may be going on sale soon)
When an item isn't in stock but can be shipped from their online catalog: "Is there any way I can get this shipped to the store (instead of my house) at no extra charge so I can save on shipping?" :
"Is there any way I can get the shipping waived if this will be shipped to my house?" (I try to avoid the word "free". It makes you sound like you are cheap, and sale's people do not like dealing with cheapos)
To online ordering people:
"Is there any way I could save on shipping today?"
And in general:
ALWAYS ALWAYS use the person's name and ALWAYS ALWAYS be nice. On the phone or in the store. ..When the person on the phone says "Hello, this is Stacy with fill in the blank company" REMEMBER HER NAME IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE! You will get so much more accomplished that way. Start with "Hi Stacy, this is Lauren, I received this broken donkey stain rug in the mail from your company, and I would like a new one that you will replace for free of course, except for this time it will be covered in diamonds and delivered in a Ferrari. Oh and I'd like you waive that shipping for me too. Ok Thanx." Try it, and see how much more you can get done.
I've had much success with these tactics, but I was always a little apprehensive about using these saving techniques for services and utilities (cable, alarm, Internet, etc). However, I got my opportunity about a month ago...
I had previously gotten a letter/advertisement in the mail from my bank saying that members of my bank would be able to get a discount from ADT as an alarm provider. I was surprised to learn this, since I had ADT service and had been paying alot of money for it (about $43/month, which is crazy, I know). So I called the number on the letter and spoke with an ADT representative. They informed me that since I had previously been a Broadview Security customer, whenever ADT bought Broadview, my service had switched over, but I was still considered a Broadview customer. At that time, I asked questions and argued to the best of my abilities, but no dice. They were not able to help me.
Flash forward about a month, and I was feeling pretty ticked that I was not receiving the discounts even though I had ADT alarm monitoring and I was paying ADT monthly service fees. I was ready to cancel. I called ADT again and stated that I had previously requested the discount and since I was not eligible, then I had decided the alarm monitoring was too expensive and therefore I was thinking of canceling the service. Oh hold on there ma'am! I was informed that several people had been complaining about not receiving the discounts and so ADT was now doing the right thing by giving the discounts to all their customers. The discount was pretty sweet (about 50%), however I had to agree to a 2 year contract. Since I was not currently under contract with my alarm monitoring, and I did not want to sign another contract, I said I was not a fan of contracts and asked him what else could he do without me signing another contract. In the end, the representative gave me the discount without a new contract. My bill was just auto paid from my credit card account, and I noticed I received exactly a 50% discount! WOO to the HOO!!
I am now trying to psych myself out to give a call to Direct TV. I am currently paying waaaayy too much for satellite (even though I dropped my service down to only receiving the basic, non premium channels). I'm considering getting rid of the satellite and going with just watching Netflix and shows via the interwebs. But honestly, I do love my Direct TV (shhh... don't tell them that!). I need to renegotiate that one next. My contract is up in Oct... Anyone got any tips?
Peace, Love, and Sweet Talkin' Discounts,