Negotiating Tip 105: Just Ask

Written by John Hamilton Posted On Sunday, 29 January 2023 00:00

Questions are the answer!

It's no surprise that store clerks and managers are eager to make sales and make them today.  The aggressive sales and sale prices communicate that clearly.  

They have room to better their price and they'd even willing to do it, but you have to ask!   
Yes, just ask!

But how do you ask?   Plan your power language in advance.  You could use the famous crunch line,

·       "Is that the best you can do?" 

You could wince (flinch) at the price tag.  Look puzzled and ask if the price on the item is correct (indicating your think is must be wrong because it's so high).  

Then bring out your favorite concession request lines:  

·    "When is this going to be on sale?  Can I have the courtesy of the sale price today?"

·    "Do you have any 'wiggle room' on that price?"

·    "What do I have to do to get 20% off on this item?"

·    "Wouldn't I find this cheaper online?"

·    "What could you do for me if I bought two of these?"

·    "At this price, you could obviously throw in an extra _____, couldn't you?"

Don't think because the clerk is busy that they won't have time to discuss possible deal pricing.  Waiting around for the clerk to be 'less busy' will be time well spent!

Consider also that more and more store owners and managers are clerking themselves.  Many are not hiring holiday help in the numbers of previous years.  That increases the odds of you and I dealing with someone who has the authority to make a concession.  Just ask.

One last thought, good negotiators can even get better deals on just asking.  It takes a bit more effort, but the dividends are significant.   Two techniques work well here. 

·    First,  click on the 'Contact Us' link and send an e-mail with your price reduction request.  Be courteous and ask nicely.  Be specific as to what price you want.  Just ask....what's the worst they can say.  The "What do I have to do to get this price?" line works wonders.

·    Second,  see if the checkout system with their shopping cart has a "Discount" or "Promo" Code.  If it does then you know someone is getting a price break...a better deal.  It also means that the vendor will sell for less.  Again use the 'Contact Us' line (or an 800 phone number) to ask for that 'code'.  90% of the time you'll get that code instantly.  An extra money saving step that hurried shoppers fail to take. 

It goes without saying, but I will, good negotiators just ask!

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