Are you apprehensive to ask for a discount, or to wrangle savings out of a business?
Honestly, it’s not in my nature to be a big time haggler. Generally speaking, I stick to that nature most of the time, or at least in terms of following social norms. That being said, I’ve also learned that at times we have to simply cast aside any apprehensions and just ask for a discount – or whatever it is we want.
One small example of this is a recent episode at a quick-casual restaurant I visited for the first time in a while. For two people, the total cost came out to around $19. Not exactly a fancy dinner, but it got the job done that evening. Some days you just don’t want to cook, right?
Anyway, before paying, I remembered that I had a loyalty card there – so asked if they could credit my card. Or, just give me points, or whatever it is they did there. I really didn’t remember how it worked, but just wanted to get credit toward whatever it is was I could get.
So, the girl behind the counter said that I had to have my card present. At that point, I asked if she could look it up if I gave my phone number. She then proceeded to look it up, and guess what? I apparently had earned $5 off my purchase, based on past activity there!
Clearly, it paid to push past her resistance, based on me not having my loyalty card. Just following up her objection by asking if she could look it up saved me $5.
The next discount was even better. It then occurred to me that I had an old punch card in my wallet, from years ago. Actually, I had recently found it and put it in my wallet with the idea that I could try to use it the next time I was at this place. Luckily, I happened to remember this before paying.
I had six “stamps” on this paper card, which then entitled me to a free meal. Now, this had to be 5 years old, and was from before plastic loyalty cards became the standard. I mean, how often do you even see those old-fashioned paper punch/stamp cards these days?
Anyway, I then pulled out the old, beat-up card and said I’d like to use this. She looked at it as if it she was looking at something from outer space. Her jaw dropped, and she stammered something about “I don’t think we give these out”. I mentioned that I got this years ago, at this restaurant, but just forgot to use it. She seemed a bit flustered, and said that she wasn’t sure they could accept it.
I then asked her if she could find out from her manager, as I’ve been a customer for a while and simply hadn’t used the card. Plus, it didn’t have an expiration date anyway. So, she went to ask the manager. A minute later, she came back and said she could honor it and I’d get the free meal I asked for.
She then asked me if I wanted to sign up for their loyalty card, at which point I was the one with the puzzled look. Uh, remember the first discount I asked for? I tried to nicely mention that I already had a card, and that’s how I got the first discount. She then said “Oh, you already have one? OK.”
I can see that the first part of our conversation wasn’t so memorable 🙂
Bottom Line: Just by being a little bit persistent, I saved $14 on a $19 meal for two people by getting two discounts. It’s another example of how sometimes it pays it to ask.
My Questions for You
Have you ever been persistent in asking for a discount?
What are some examples where you’ve taken the extra effort to save money?