Through the years I've posted several times on the value of asking for a discount. I've given many examples of people reaping savings on all sorts of things simply by asking for a discount.
That said, asking for savings doesn't come naturally for me. I'm not sure why, because I'm pretty "frugal" (some might say cheap) in most cases. But asking for a discount just seems a bit tacky to me in many circumstances.
My wife, on the other hand, doesn't have such inhibitions. Thankfully, she's willing to jump right in there and ask for a discount at the drop of a hat.
This recently saved us a good amount of money when we went to a new drycleaner.
I had several shirts and a couple pants that needed cleaned. As the lady took them we chatted with her a bit. We told her we were new in the area and were trying to find a drycleaner.
As she collected the clothes, my wife asked if they had any discounts available. That's it. All she said was, "Do you have any discounts available?" (I know, pretty simple right?)
I immediately thought, "Of course they don't -- why even ask?"
The lady paused for a moment, then said, "I could give you a $40 credit as a new customer. Would that be ok?"
Simply by asking if there were any discounts available, my wife saved us $40. It took less than a minute for it all to happen. That's like earning $2,400 an hour!!!
I got my clothes cleaned and had $15 credit left over for next time!
So consider this a reminder to do one simple thing whenever you buy something: ask if they have a discount, can give you a better price, etc. You might just be pleasantly surprised at the answer...