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October 10, 2013

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My Dad tells a story of asking for a discount at a local dealer of a nationally known boot, and getting read the riot act for even asking by the store owner. I'd have immediately taken my business elsewhere. There should never be negative repercussions for asking for a discount politely.

On the above comment, when I am refused a reasonable discount, I tend to go elsewhere. There are two used books sellers in my town. In one I wanted to purchase a book out of a series of books. It was the only one with damage on the cover, but it was priced as all the others. They would not discount - even a quarter. I am not going to use their store anymore.

Your wife is my hero. And yes, you can tell her that I said that. :-)

@FMF, your wife sounds like an awesome woman. Not all assets are found on the balance sheet.:-)

@Jon, that is an amazing reaction from the storeowner, you are totally correct and I'm sorry that happened to your Dad. Reminds me, too, of the adage 'a happy customer tells 3 people, and an unhappy one tells 30.' Scolding a customer (or anyone over the age of 8) doesn't change behavior.

@Mrs. Waste Not, sorry to hear your request to save 25 cents was unsuccessful. Taking your business elsewhere over a polite decline of 25 cents sounds like an issue that transcends the value of time, money, convenience, and the way commerce works. I hope you find that book somewhere else for 25 cents less.

A friend recently relayed his story of his SiriusXM free subscription coming to the end of the one-year period; he found himself listening to a commercial for extending his sub, and in a fit of pique called SXM to cancel the free sub early; they apologized for the way he took their attempt to market him and offered him an ADDITIONAL six months, free. He said 'no' "on principle". Now he listens to 23 minutes of commercials an hour, on stations he doesn't like. I tried to point out that commercial transactions must be a "win-win" but like so many people, he only cares about the 'win'.

FMF, how often does your wife meet with success and how often is she turned down? I'm just curious how common it is for merchants in general to give a discount.

I definitely love this idea! I will definitely have to ask this more often. Worst they casandra say is no!

Jim --

I'm not sure because I'm not with her much of the time when she does ask. But I know it happens often enough with all sorts of businesses -- phone companies, lawn maintenance companies, etc.

Seems like it's a bit easier to get when it's a service (rather than a product), but perhaps I'm wrong.

Yesterday, I received my ddentist's bill for the balance on my teeth cleaning and a filling. I've been going to him for awhile because I really like him and the tech who regularly cleans my teeth, even though his business is out of my insurance network. Anyhow, since the bill was more than $100, I decided to try asking the receptionist if he offers any discount to customers who pay by cash/check instead of credit card, hoping maybe at least a little since he wouldn't have to pay the transaction fee. I got a resounding "no." So, I just paid by credit card to get the cash back reward. Oh well! I'll still be going back because I like the service, but I was sorta surprised it was just a flat "no" since I'm paying out of network rates and all.

I generally ask for discounts everywhere I shop. I think when I was younger it was a bit odd to ask, but now it's commonplace for me. What's the worst that could happen? A "No" just means "no" this time around.

I moved to my current city in 2010 and never paid full rent simply by asking for discounts or signing a bit longer lease. The initiation fees or "turn on" services from cable/utilities don't exist in my world either as I know they're just another way to get extra money out of me.

I've especially found it very easy to get a discount while shopping for clothing as the cashier always has options to assist you in purchasing more by adding a discount.

@FMF - sounds like you found a great partner who doesn't mind asking for a discount

I work at an event center selling tickets for University football, basketball, events, and more.
Most events/games have many discounts available, but we can't just give them out. People have to ask us for them. It only works when the customer is buying tickets in person.(you should never buy tickets online, usually $5-$10 cheaper because of fees)

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