Four tips to help you save money
Whether shopping in person or online, there are some easy ways you can save some money. Read on to discover four tips to try before you swipe that card.
#1 - It’s too obvious to work:
After dropping my kids off at daycare, I was driving to work when a big red light suddenly goes on in my dashboard saying I have low brake fluid. Being able to brake is generally a good thing, so I made my way to the mechanic’s shop I trust. Thankfully, I was only a few blocks away, and my brakes were still functional for the moment.
As I sip the “free” coffee and watch the news, I know there’s likely a large repair bill lurking around the corner. When I see the service associate approaching, I’m pretty sure the “duh-duh” of the Jaws movie played overhead.
He proceeds to tell me everything that needs to be repaired and then gives me the total. “OK,” I think to myself, “time to pull out the super, top-secret negotiation technique.”
I tell Kevin (we’ll keep his real name confidential) that I have been a customer there for a while (which was true). “In the past, when I’ve had unexpected repairs, I’ve been given a 10% discount.” I then ask if he will honor that. Then, I stop talking.
Get this – here’s what he says: “Sure, no problem!”
Chalk up one more win for the super, top-secret negotiation technique of - just ask for a discount.
Yes, it is that simple. You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve asked for discounts and saved hundreds of dollars.
You can increase the odds of success by adding in a key sentence or two before the ask. Two strategies to try are to hold them to a standard their company has (like being offered discounts in the past) or empathize with them and put yourself in their shoes. If you acknowledge where they are coming from, it will help your odds of success.
Here are some examples:
- I’m sure people ask you this all the time but are there any discounts available?
- I don’t want to bother you, but are you able to discount this at all?
- It’s been a long day, and you are being very generous with your time. Would it be terrible of me to ask for a discount?
- Your company has a policy of offering the best price, are you able to provide a discount?
Here’s the subtle art to this technique - it’s the pause after you ask.
Once you get over the potential discomfort of asking for a discount, you need to work on Not. Saying. Anything.
Be OK with the silence.
You can use this technique in many situations in life, good luck!
P.S. If your repair is not urgent and you’re able to shop around, leverage the power of the internet. Many websites give you estimates for various repairs. Try googling your car repair to get an idea of a reasonable price to protect yourself from paying too much.
#2 – Secret codes:
There are a few ways to uncover a discount code.
- Many online stores have a place to put in a discount code at checkout. However, before you finish checking out, try searching on Google for coupon codes first. If you use a computer with Microsoft Edge as a browser, it now searches for coupons automatically and will let you know of any potential discounts as well.
- Several websites offer discounts to people the first time you visit their website. The discount is usually dependent upon you giving them your e-mail address. Like many of you, I keep a second email account or 'junk e-mail' account to use for this purpose.
- Try visiting the website in your web browser’s private or incognito mode. Why? When browsing in this mode, the code that websites use to track you isn’t stored, and the website will think you’re a first time visitor. You may be offered discounts that you wouldn’t have seen if you were re-visiting the website the traditional way.
ASK GTS: If you have not used the private or incognito mode before - Ask us! We will walk you through it!
- I’ve also used the “chat now” feature on many websites to ask for discount codes and have had some success that way as well.
#3 – Abandonment:
Often, companies use software to monitor your online shopping actions on their site. One common thing they track is if you’ve placed items in your shopping cart but 'forget' to check out. They may offer discounts to incentivize you to complete the purchase if you don’t check out for a day or two. Next time you buy, try putting things in your cart and then wait a day before you checkout to see if you’ll get any discount offers.
#4 – The free trial:
Software or services will offer free trials, hoping you enjoy the program or service and you’ll continue using it or forget to cancel before the trial ends.
If there is a free trial offer, I sign up for it and place a reminder in my calendar. Then, before the trial ends, I try to cancel the license or membership, even if I think I may use the service long-term. When trying to cancel, I’ve been offered discounts.
Hopefully, you’re able to take advantage of some or all of these tips! Happy savings.