Anyone can negotiate a better price at a flea market, but did you know you can flex your bargaining muscles at department stores, hotels and other "traditional" retail establishments? We spoke with shopping pros and industry experts to find out how you can get a discount at the most unlikely of places. Here, tips on scoring a bargain just about anywhere.
Make it a point to check the "Sell By" dates on your favorite baked goods. Whether it's an apple pie or a bag of rolls, if it has to be off the shelf tomorrow, it should be priced to sell. Bring soon-to-be expired items to the manager and ask whether she can offer a discount, suggests Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game. You can increase your chances by offering to buy two of the item; just put one in the freezer until you need it. Photo: iStock
Learn surprising things your supermarket doesn't tell you.
There are savings to be had at the bank, but most people don't know to ask for them, says Denise Winston, the former-banker-turned-financial-educator behind Money Start Here. Many bank managers and supervisors have an amount they can waive or refund every month, Winston says. "It's worth the effort to ask if it would be possible to get a six-month waiver on checking account fees, or for one or two overdraft fees to be waived." Just ask nicely-and don't approach her when there's a line out the door. Photo: Shutterstock
Chain Discount Store
Keep an eye out for damaged (but still perfectly good!) merchandise, such as a shirt that's missing a button or the floor model of a piece of furniture with scuffmarks on the base. Janet F. Williams, author of You Don't Ask, You Don't Get, suggests bringing damaged goods to a sales clerk and saying: "This is the last box of the type of fishing line I like, but it's been opened. I don't think you'll be able to sell it in its present condition, but I'll take it if you give me a discount." Photo: Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock
See what's really worth buying in bulk.
If you like a pair of shoes or a mattress that's listed at full-price, check the store's circular to see what's on sale and then work backwards from there. You might say, "You don't have the color I like for this pair of shoes that is advertised on sale. I'm willing to take this similar pair, but I'd like to pay the sale price of the shoe I can't get," Williams suggests. You may not get the full sale price, but you could still see significant savings. Photo: Thinkstock
If you pay by cash or check rather than filing an insurance claim, ask whether the medical practice offers a discount for self-pay patients, suggests Kevin Gallegos, vice president of the Phoenix operations for Freedom Debt Relief. If they can't help you at the front desk, ask to speak with the office's billing manager. Many healthcare providers and facilities will offer discounts of 10% to 50% for people who can pay cash upfront. Photo: Shutterstock
Skip the wait at your doctor's office.
Regulars, take note: If you've been visiting the same beauty salon for years, they know you're a valuable customer-and many salons are happy to show their gratitude in the form of discounts, says Cynthia Dean, the artistic director of Hair Design and Makeup Artistry at Studio Enizio in Lehi, Utah. Instead of haggling every time you pop into your stylist's chair, try working out a "rewards" system that guarantees your repeat business. If you get a blowout every other week, maybe she'll give you the 10th blowout for free. Or, if you're in for a haircut every three months like clockwork, ask if she'll trim your bangs for free between appointments. Photo: Dmytro Konstantynov/Thinkstock
Rather than booking through the central reservations line or front desk, Lisa Morris, president of Road Concierge travel agency, suggests you speak with someone in the sales department. In addition to requesting a lower rate, you can also ask them for complimentary Internet service, breakfast or room upgrade, she says. Another approach is to request a discount after you've booked a room, but before you've checked in. For example, travel expert Ann Lombardi will make a standard reservation, then a few days before her arrival she'll ask the manager if he can offer "a special in-house discount to help me out." Regardless of the tactic you choose, be low-key and polite-and don't ever sound demanding. Photo: Boris Kaulin/Thinkstock
Discover which hotels have fabulous--and free!--perks.
When the market is flooded with vacant apartments, landlords will be desperate for any tenant-and they might reduce the rent to get a great one. Charlotte Cowley, who works at the Canadian classifieds site UsedVictoria.com, suggests playing up any potential "bargaining chips." Maybe you're a nonsmoker or you don't have pets. Or you work late hours and travel on weekends. Let the landlord know why you're an ideal rental candidate, then ask if he'd be willing to drop the rent $50 or $100 a month to land you. Photo: Shutterstock
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
You Might Also Like:
15 Keyboard Shortcuts You Probably Don't Know
Surprising Things You Can Get For Free (Or Almost)
9 Things Never to Say on a Job Interview
The Best Sex Positions for Every Situation
9 Fights to Have with Your Husband