The Power of Asking: Just a Reminder

By | August 18, 2015

Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to all of my new subscribers! I hope you are well. It is hot, hot, hot this way and I can’t believe it’s already the middle of August! It’s been a hectic summer but it will pay off by being a fruitful autumn. Today I thought I’d share a tremendously powerful technique for saving money that is often overlooked, even by me. And that is simply asking for a discount.

Did you just roll your eyes because that is nothing new? Hear me out. No, I’m not talking about haggling or negotiating to get better prices (although I do this at times and other times I’d rather stab myself with a pencil). I mean simply asking for a discount, like, “Would you have any discounts I can apply to this?” You’d be surprised how many people don’t do it and equally surprised by the result. I’ve been thinking about this notion since last month when the following happened:

Amazon offered a $15 off $50 or more promotion for American Express cardholders. This offer was targeted and not everyone was eligible. I wasn’t one of the lucky few. However, I wanted this because I wanted to purchase some glass food storage containers, as I am switching from plastic to save money (read about that drama here if you missed it).

So what did I do? I opened up an online chat with American Express and asked if I could have that offer. Drum roll please! I didn’t get it. The customer service rep told me all that could be done was to note that I wanted it on my account. She did ask if I wanted my account to reflect being open to future offers. yay (notice lower case “yay”)

A little deflated, but not defeated, and given that my first encounter only took 45 seconds, I decided to open an online chat with Amazon asking that rep the same question. The rep took a minute then replied he couldn’t give me THAT promotion but what he could do was offer me a one-time $15 credit that would be applied the next time I purchased something from Amazon.  Then he had the nerve to ask me if that worked for me. Um. YEAH-IT-DOES-THANK-YOU-SO-VERY-VERY-MUCH!

Later that evening when my husband “B” and I were sitting on the sofa and I yammered his ear off about the $15 Amazon credit I got just because I asked, it dawned on me that the rep never said the credit was contingent upon purchasing $50 like the original offer. Could it be that I got $15 free and clear? I yanked my laptop open, started scouring Amazon for glass food storage containers, and found a nice Pyrex “starter set” for $15.30. The reviews were awesome and I knew the price was the going rate. I added it to my cart, hit the checkout button and lo and behold my final cost was thirty cents. THIRTY. CENTS.

Believe me when I tell you this (and picture it for full effect and a laugh). I literally grabbed the collar of B’s shirt, slid off the sofa onto the floor, and yelled, “Look at the computer screen! Look how much I’m paying for this glass Tupperware!” He shook his head and said, “Only you,” which I fully took as a compliment.

Here’s a picture. Isn’t it the most beautiful set of thirty cent food storage containers in the world? And all because I took two minutes and asked for a discount.

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Here’s the thing. When I think about it, asking has netted me positive results probably 90% of the time. That’s an awesome success rate. But I often don’t ask. Why? Is it because asking for something is being vulnerable? Or it feels like begging? Or it feels confrontational? Or like it’s undeserved? Or perhaps it’s being greedy? Do you ever feel that way? I can admit that all of these reasons/personal issues and more have stopped me from asking. But mostly, or maybe because of these reasons, I often just don’t think about doing it. I’ll research the heck out of something to get a great deal, but taking a step back and just asking? Not so second nature.

But I’m going to remember to ask more now. I’m not going to go all hog wild with it ask for a discount on, let’s say, a pair of pantyhose, but I will ask more. Why? Because, it’s not a big deal and because salespeople don’t really care if you do. And the few who do care and sniff at you? So what, really? If you’re not an “asker,” I want to encourage you to add this to your frugal skill set.The result can be tremendous savings (or in the case of someone sniffing at you, maybe you’ll be like me and not buy anything at all which is even greater savings, right?).

Final thoughts: The $15 off of $50 or more promo that I was originally after? It showed up in my account the next day. 🙂

Thanks for reading today! Tell me your best power of asking story by replying to this email. I can’t wait! Stay tuned because the next post will be about the power of asking and saving money on your cable/satellite/wireless/bundle bill(s).

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