Save. Spend. Splurge.

Sometimes, all you have to do is (politely) ask to save money

This just popped into my head lately when I was thinking about my shopping behaviours. I had actually purchased a pair of shoes a long time ago, and they happened to be the LAST PAIR on the SALE rack and already discounted $10 off, but looking a bit scruffy.

This was amazing for 3 reasons:

  • It was a size 7.5 and I NEVER find shoes in my perfect size 7.5 (my feet can’t be a simple 7 or 8).
  • I never find anything in THAT size, let alone on sale
  •  Every other store I had checked in the past 2 weeks was not only sold out in my size, but they were selling the shoe at full retail price because they knew that customers were still paying $$

Still. It was on a sale rack, and looking a bit dirty.


Shoes in question were the ones in the middle with the flowers, made in Italy by Miss Sixty

I thought:

What’s the harm in asking for a further discount?

(I do this a lot on sale items because things don’t go on sale unless they want to get rid of them, and have been having a hell of a time doing so.)

So I walked up to the counter, and very politely asked that since they were the last pair on the table, and kind of dirty from being the last pair, if I could get a further discount.

At this point I was only expecting 10%. Honestly, that’s the best anyone can hope for, and it’s still better than 0%.

The guy looks at me, looks back at the shoes and says:

Yeah they were on that table right? I can do 30%.


I squealed like a schoolgirl inside, but kept a strict facade on the outside.

That my friends, is why it doesn’t hurt to ask (politely) for a discount (also.. I will acknowledge that maybe it also doesn’t hurt to be a girl asking a guy. :))

Some people might say:

Wow that just makes you or someone who does that, look like they are REALLY poor or REALLY cheap.

*shrug* So what?

I saved 30%.

Money is more important that false pride.

I spent money on the shoes I was planning on buying ANYWAY, and I got to save an additional 30% off the discounted price to boot.

I’d rather let you think I’m poor and struggling than rich if it saves me money (in an honest manner of course, I’d never lie about it).

Plus I got cute shoes in the end that I still have.


  • Dunny

    Oh yes, I always ask for a discount or more service (e.g. more GB on a sim card). When done very quietly (letting nobody else hear it) and politely with a question that gives them an easy way to say no, you can often get quite a large discount but at least 10%. Giving a reason helps them decide or save face (e.g. buying more than 1 thing, noticing a flaw). I often have expectations of a no, and am surprized how easy it is to get a yes. But if they say they can’t or just smile with a little shake of the head, I accept politely. Never put people into a corner, leave them room to change their minds. In other words, don’t get an absolute no that the seller cannot back off from. On this trip I have done this with a hotel where the room had problems and they could not find me a similar one without problems, so I asked for a discount. The first offer was to take off the cost of breakfast but I asked if I could I make a suggestion of 25% discount. The Receptionist agreed immediately and the manager approved immediately as well. I got both 25% and cost of breakfast credited. Another time, I was buying UK sim card, and the package price advertised in the shop was for 2 GB data, so when I said I need more, they immediately offered me 12 GB for same price (some kind of special that was on, and I only had to ask for it). My London friends jaws dropped (first at my Canadian audacity, and then that I got it so easily and cheerfully). The first hour in my hotel room I make sure I can work everything, that the view is okay, the AC, etc. and ask to change rooms if I don’t like it. It is often not a problem but I always ask politely and am very grateful and show my pleasure at getting what I want. My fellow travellers are horrified at me but they have sleepless nights because they didn’t know how to turn on the AC or open the window which horrifies me. When shopping in Canada, I ask if something is going on sale soon, and that sometimes brings an immediate offer of discount today (often in department stores). In Rome at the airport I got the cost of the shuttle for 15 euros (he charged others 30 euros) just by saying very quietly if he would do it for 15, he just nodded and did it for 15. Sometimes, I ask if there’s a senior’s discount (you never know). I think I probably save about 10% on average off all purchases which is quite a lot of money in a year. Another way is to buy more than one thing and ask if they can give me a price for 3 things. Also, really learn to hack the discounts on things to get the most of it. If Shoppers is about to give me a $10 credit, I split the purchases into two batches, and get the $10 credit on the first batch and use it on the second batch. They don’t mind at all. Saves carrying around that coupon for weeks and remembering to use it. You learn to know which stores will discount and which will not. You have to make sure other customers don’t hear what is going on. For foreign markets haggling, the key is to never give an inkling that you want anything, like anything, or care about whether you get it or not. On the other hand, never bargain if you are not serious and never back out if they agree to your price (very bad form). Also, do your bargaining quietly so no other customers even no what is going on even if they are almost beside you. Often the seller will signal okay but won’t actually do the transaction in front of the others. Once you have agreed with eye contact or whatever, just wait, he or she will do the deal. I got a huge discount off a Panama hat that way. All the others paid 3 times as much. After they bought and walked toward the bus he gave me my hat for my 10 dollars. You mustn’t be too proud, you can always go back and pay more if they do not meet your price. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I’m never too proud to say I don’t have money or can’t afford it. It makes people uncomfortable but they do give you a deal or at least something off.

      I also just ask, and then smile and wait politely. Silence helps.

  • Corianne

    My cell phone bill gets discounted by around 6 euros every month, because even though I got the cheapest package available, I asked for a discount! (It’s a 2-year contract, so that amounts to 144 euros saved! Isn’t big bucks, but every little bit saved helps 🙂 )


      Here, they refuse to discount you. You have to threaten to leave, and then sometimes actually leave to get a better deal. So dumb. We also pay the most out of any privileged first world country for these rates. Such a monopoly.

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