FABULESSLY FRUGAL FRIDAY: Just Ask
A few years after my husband and I were married, we were walking through a furniture store when we found a bed we both fell in love with. It was an expensive bed, and one that was out of our price range. While I temporarily had visions of how it would look in our bedroom, I realistically knew the price tag would keep it on the showroom floor. My husband had another idea.
He found a sales associate and told her what he was willing to pay for the bed. I was mortified. To me that was like telling a cashier at a grocery store that you are only willing to pay $1 for a gallon of milk clearly marked $2. We were not in a thrift store. We were not at a garage sale. We were not at a used car lot. We were not in haggling territory. Or so I thought.
We bought that bed. We paid the price my husband offered the sales associate. It was almost half-off the marked price. The sales associate initially told my husband they did not negotiate their prices. They never had. They never would. He kindly asked her to ask her manager if they would take less. Her manager agreed.
Lesson learned: it doesn’t hurt to ask.
In the 10 years we have been married, I have grown comfortable negotiating what I once thought were nonnegotiables. We saved over $1,000 on a Natuzzi living room set after telling the sales associate what we were willing to pay, leaving our name and phone number and telling them to call us if they were able to sell us the set at our offer price. They called the next day. Those lovely leather couches still sit in our living room today.
We had $500 waived from a doctor bill by simply asking if they would take less. I explained we were financially able to pay the bill, it just seemed their charges were a bit high and wondered if they would be willing to lower them. They did. The receptionist said in the 5 years she had worked at the doctor’s office she had never had anyone ask if the doctor would be willing to lower his fees. That surprised me. So many of us are unwilling to pay full price at the grocery store, but never think twice paying full price for other things.
Simply asking could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Sometimes people tell us no, and that’s fine too. I’ll continue to ask. It only takes one yes to save me money!
Do you haggle? Are you successful at it? What is your best negotiated deal?
*A quick note about haggling: be fair. Sure we often offer less than asking price, but we are realistic in the types of deals we negotiate. We are especially careful when it comes to professional services. Sure we love a good deal, but we also feel that a good hairdresser/babysitter/mechanic is deserving of a good wage.