LEARN THE ART OF (TASTEFUL) BARGAINING
My sister Jean, an interior designer in South Dakota, was patiently waiting for a Threshhold metal, leather and wood bar cart at Target to be marked down before she committed to its purchase. It was certainly a handsome piece, but, in her mind, not exactly worth the $129.99 price tag.
The cart was marked down 50 percent the last time she visited the store in her area, but she still wasn’t ready to seal the deal. Eventually, all the clearance items she had so admired were gone. She resigned herself to the fact that this was not meant to be. But during a recent foray at the retail giant, she found the cart not in the home department but wheeled behind a sporting good aisle — without a price tag.
“It was like finding a lost child,” she said, feeling relief and joy. She approached a sales associate and he looked up the item on the scanner. “It’s listed for $129.99,” he said.
My sister pointed out the last time she had checked, the cart had been marked down 50 percent. “Can we check with the store manager?” she politely asked.
The manager gamely asked her what she would pay for the cart and then — before she could reply — tossed in “How about $30?”
Sold. She is now using the cart as a coffee cart in her home office.
Her experience reminded me it’s often wise for the prudent shopper to go for an extra discount when the occasion presents itself.
Here are three ways to use your bargaining super powers:
1.) POINT OUT IMPERFECTIONS YOU MAY NOTICE IN AN ITEM
If that darling chambray shirt dress has a button missing (and no other garments in your size are in stock), mention it to the sales associate. Oftentimes, stores will take off 10 percent or 15 percent. Likewise, if the wool jacket you’re lusting over has a stain, then ask the store if they will dryclean it for you or reimburse you for the cost. It never, ever hurts to ask, whether you are shopping at a high-end retail department chain or a discount store. Just be sure to be realistic and polite.
2.) EXERCISE THE POWER OF A GOOD PRICE-MATCHING POLICY
Most major retailers offer a price-match guarantee somewhere in their store’s policy — but only about 5 percent of shoppers actually take advantage of it. Think of all the savings you’re missing out on day-to-day purchases by not learning which stores offer a price-match guarantee and what the rules are. Walmart stores, for instance, have a savvy price-match policy. The megastore will match the prices on any competitor’s ad that features a specific price for a specific item. Moreover, it’ll match prices that can only be obtained with preferred shopping cards at other stores, and honor competitors’ “buy one, get one free” offers (as long as an actual price is listed on the ad). http://www.walmart.com
Yes, it takes a little time and research to benefit from price matching, but it’s kind of fun in a way. Imagine you’re Nancy Drew sleuthing for fabulous finds.
If you’re in the market for a new TV or computer, then be sure to take advantage of the price-match policy at Best Buy. http://www.bestbuy.com/?ref=30&loc=KW-4327&ksid=b5806516-3a6d-4c93-b37b-6199803a55d6&ksprof_id=3&ksaffcode=74148&ksdevice=c. The chain will match local retail competitors (including their online prices) and these qualifying online retailers: Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Newegg.com, and TigerDirect.com.
3.) DON’T FORGET TO ASK FOR PRICE ADJUSTMENTS
Before you throw down your hard-earned cash to purchase something at the full retail price, be sure to inquire about the store’s policy for price adjustments. Savor the savings if that J.Crew linen dress you purchased at full price just happens to be marked down two days later. One more reason to love J.Crew (aside from its consistently impeccable style): The retailer gladly honors a one-time price adjustment on full-price (not sale) merchandise within seven days of the retail purchase or mail-order ship date. Make sure you keep and show the original receipt.
This article was written by Suzette DeSart for The Daily Clutch