Oddly enough 20-20 did a segment on today’s show about getting discounts, so I added a few great tips.
For brick and mortar shopping.
Bring someone else with you when you are shopping for a big-ticket item. When you bring someone with you, you can make comments to the other person in front of the salesman like Gee, I would love to have it, but I think its kind of expensive, I saw that cheaper somewhere else, I would love to have it but I can only afford X amount of money, etc. This way, if the salesman really wants that sale, he will drop that price. When you direct those comments directly to the salesperson, it just does not have the same impact. They kind of figure out you are fishing for a better price.
Most stores use a few items as loss leaders to get customers to come into the store. Loss leaders are items that are either, at cost or even below cost. When I worked for music wholesaler, one of our customers ( a major department store) had us price the CDs for them for $1 below cost, which means they lost money on each cd. But, they were going to position them in the clothing departments. They hoped that a certain percentage of the kids/parents would buy something else on the way in or out to make up for the $1 they lost on the cd. When you look in the paper or in the store, many loss leaders will have a limit as to how many you can buy. That is a good way to tell if it’s a loss leader. The trick is to grab the sale items and leave. The temptation is to look around and pick up a few other items, which is what they are hoping you will do.
Some stores offer discounts if you buy by the case. Walgreens liquor stores use to offer a discount if you order a case of whatever item you were buying. You can always ask.
Some stores & restaurants have frequent shopper cards. Fill the card and you get a free meal or sandwich. A local Music store gives a free cd when you fill up a card. Check the register, usually, they will have a sign about a frequent shopper card.
If you are planning on buying quite a few items, you can say something like: If I buy 20 DVDs, can I get a discount? Or, if I spend at least $100, can I get a discount?
One woman sells baby items on eBay. Walmart was having a sale on baby mattresses. She asked the sales person if she bought 10 of them, could she get a discount. They gave her another discount on top of the sale price. So sometimes, all you have to do is ask. You can get great deals and reviews on makeup like LipSense.
Look for imperfect items: Missing buttons, slight tears that you can sew up, missing belts, etc. and ask if they can lower the price.
Check to see if you can buy floor models, discontinued items, slightly dented, etc.
Many stores or restaurant websites have coupons online. Before I go to Popeyes, I always check their site, because I know they always have a coupon. Some places like Papa John’s may give you something free (like a liter of soda) if you place your order online, instead of calling the store.
Check the stores after each holiday. They will sell things as much as 90% off. CVS had most of their Easter stuff for 90% off. I bought some empty plastic eggs, grass and a few other things. I will just put them away for Easter next year. They will keep. Most candy will be at least half price. It doesn’t matter if the MM;’s are pastel for Easter, red amp; green for Christmas, it all tastes the same. I have never paid full price for Christmas cards. If I get low, I will just pick up a box or two after Christmas for ½ off.
Most electronic items, appliance or other high ticket item offer extended warranties for an additional cost. Don’t buy it if you have a credit card that has extended warranty protection.
If you are shopping in a store that offers a 20% discount if you sign up to get one of their credit cards. Use the card to get the discount, but then cut it up. Pay it off right away so there no additional charges on it.
If you shop for big-ticket items on a day when the weather is bad; rainy days, days when it is snowing, etc. most likely the stores are empty. If the salesman needs that sale or has a sales quota, he may give you a deal to get the sale. You just have to act like you are on the fence about spending the money.
Go to onlineshopping.about.com or www.pricegrabber.com to check deals on an item you are interested in. If you find something that looks like a great deal, print it out and take it with you. If the store is charging more for that item, you can show the salesman the printout, and let him know you can get it cheaper if you buy online, and see if he will match the price.
Grocery stores: If you are buying an item, check all the shelves. Most of the time you will find the higher priced item at eye level. If you look towards the bottom, you may find the same can of peas cheaper on the bottom shelf.
Keep track of prices so you will know if the sale price listed is really a good deal or not. If you know that a 4 pack of Charmin usually sells for $5 and you see it on sale for $3.99, you know you have a sale, but if you see it for $3.79, it’s not that great of a deal. Unless you REALLY need it, just wait for a better sale price.
Every single time I go to the grocery store, I check the items they are selling for ½ price (or less). Usually, items that are close to their expiration date or discontinued items. Some keep it in the same place in a grocery cart, some have it on shelves somewhere in the store, I cook a lot and found spices that cost $3+ on sale for $1 each. Walmart has a row in their store. I’ve purchased items that originally sold for over $100, on sale for $20+ at Walmart. You have to check these sale sections every time you go because you never know what they are going to have.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach, you will buy things you don’t need.
Buy generic, they are just as good as the major brands. But, I would be careful of things at dollar stores. Make sure the food products were packaged in the U.S. Other countries do not have the same regulations that we do. I know a while back there were problems with toothpaste that came from a foreign country.
Just key in words like coupons, auctions, discounts, and you will find many sites to go to. There are many government sites where they are selling off items at discounts or via an auction site, many items seized from raids.