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An Easy Way to Save Money: Ask For a Discount

By Erik Folgate

I’m watching 20/20 right now on ABC, and they just had a segment about how to save a bunch of money while shopping. The formula was simple. Walk into the store, show interest in buying the item, and ask for a discount.

I know that I am much bolder when it comes to buying a car, furniture, a mattress, or other big-ticket items to haggle on price. But typically, I don’t have what it takes to get a good deal on a mid-priced item at a large retailer. One time, my wife’s father haggled the price of a microwave at Best Buy! Most people don’t think about haggling on price at Best Buy, but it can be done. It can especially be done at the Appliance section. The store clerks don’t make commission, but I am convinced that there is some kind of financial incentive for them. We bought a set of appliances two years ago, and by the time we left, we had about $300 knocked off the total price.

The formula is simple. ALWAYS ASK FOR A DISCOUNT! It never hurts to ask, and the worst they can say is NO. I’m preaching this to myself, because I am very shy when it comes to buying certain things. My wife is awesome at this. She’ll ask for anything. She wants to get a discount wherever she can. Some discounts are staring you in the face. If you see that the item has something wrong with it, or it has already been opened, you can typically get 10 to 20% off the retail price.

Be a frugal shopper. You’ll save thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Matty

    I worked at Best Buy for a little over a year and can assure you there is no financial incentive for the floor employees to give you a discount. However, having a big sale with a lot of add ons i.e. installation, accessories, delivery, rewardzone, etc. makes the employee look good so they are willing to give you some price discounts. Your best chance at getting a discount from the Best Buy employees is when you are buying a big package. If you are going in and all you are buying is a T.V., don’t expect them to budge, but if you’re purchasing the home theater installation and the whole shebang, you’ll be much more likely to get that discount.

  • Jody

    I watched this same program. I actually tried haggling once a few years ago, I can’t remember what it was, but I probably won’t do it again. I remember asking the sales clerk for a discount and I also remember her looking at me and asking me, ‘Why?’ LOL I was so embarrassed at her response, it will probably be a long time before I try that again. Just give me a coupon and tell me how much I can get off.

  • Erik

    that’s really good informatin Matty, thanks for sharing the inside scoop about Best Buy. You’re right, you can’t go and haggle for a $500 TV, but if you’re buying $2,500 worth of appliances, you can get some money off.

    Jody, I know what you mean. It’s embarassing when they just blow you off, but that’s okay. The worst they can say is ‘no’, and you move on

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    I’ve heard about this, but haven’t tried it for lower price items. Plus, I usually end up buying them at a cut-rate price online anyways. Or, I wait for an especially good sale, like Black Friday where the prices are very low & demand is high. No need to bargain with customers when the product is already being sold at cost!

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