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July 15, 2005


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While asking for a discount is common (and probably good) advice, I'd be interested in seeing a list of the types of places that people have tried this and what kind of luck they've had. For example, if you did this at a place like Target or Wal-Mart they'd probably laugh you out of the store (unless you were asking for 10% off a floor model, or some such). Anyway, I did this just last night at Lowe's when the washing machine that I wanted to buy was out of stock. They gave me the next model up for the same price. That was not, however, a straightup request for a lower price just because I thought the price was too high -- I had a 'good' reason for asking.

Last year we went shopping for a baby grand piano, and we tried the approach of offering cash to see if the seller's would lower their price. To my surprise, almost none seemed to want to give me a deal for using cash. I tried to explain to them that I was saving them money by using cash, but they didn't seem to cara and offered no explanation for it. In the end, we bargained with a guy and got a good deal, but I wasn't real sure if the cash made much of a difference.

It's always nice to have someone else confirm stuff you already know or had suspicions about.

Nickel: I went to Home Depot with the intent to buy a fridge, washer and dryer and an oven. Before I even started talking with the sales rep I asked if there was a way that I could get a discount. At the time he said that he'd have to look into it, but once all was said and done he gave me one of his 10% friends/family coupons that *all* Home Depot workers have. I knew about this, which is why I went to the Depot.

In another situation I went to buy a bicycle that I knew was cheaper in a town about an hour south of where I lived. I could have gone down there to buy it, but I wanted to buy it where I lived. When I asked for the same price as in the other town the bike shop owner flipped out. Literally. He started to swear and curse and then asked me for the store that was selling the bike at that price. I gave him the name of the store and he *called* them to confirm that I was telling the truth! It was both insulting and incredible. I got my bike from them at the price I wanted but I never went back to them again. It's a shame. I had a pretty good relationship with the shop and did all my purchases there but after that incident I wouldn't bring my business there again and told all the friends that I had recommended to go there to stay away as well.

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