10 Negotiable Ways To a Fatter Wallet
Growing up in a typical small Jewish family, I assumed everyone knew the I’m-smart-but-not-cheap tactics I was raised with. But as I’ve gotten older (yeah, it had to happen sometime), I realized some people don’t know the one steadfast golden rule of financial success, stability and contentment: EVERYTHING is negotiable. But, you have to ask!!
There are some obvious things I won’t list in this article like that you can bargain for a car. I’m pretty sure everyone knows that. If not, for now, remember to act like you don’t need one and then e-mail me for further help.
Here are some hints for a fatter wallet and maybe even enough money at the end of the day to buy a new purse to hold it in. These are in no particular order of importance:
If the place has been on the market for a bit, you can offer less rent for a longer lease. Also, you can often bargain less rent if you have a trade to offer like great gardening skills or something else that would improve the property and be less work for the owner. It’s a win-win. Note: you won’t have much luck with this if you are going through a property management company as you’d be cutting out on their profits.
- Farmer’s Market
The price listed is not the price you have to pay. Always try to round the pounds to a near dollar. So, if peaches are $1.50 per pound and you weigh in at 2.89 pounds, say “I’ll give you $4.” They’ll be happy to get the $4 and you’ll get the extra peach. Note: if you go toward the end of the day, you can usually buy larger quantities for less. Most likely, the vendor doesn’t want to shlep everything home. Just ask!
- Get a discount for a scratch, stain or other imperfection on a purchase
Almost all retail stores will give 10-15% off of glassware, clothing and other items if it is damaged, especially if it’s the only in the store of the kind (your size or that color). Of course they don’t advertise this so you have to ask at the register. Just know that once you get your discount, it becomes non-returnable merchandise.
- Hotel comps for an unpleasant stay
Hotels aim to please. And if you were lying awake all night because your were placed next to a room full of rowdy children under 5, then the receptionist didn’t do a good job. First thing is, you have to call them when it happens. Then, the next morning, call again and ask to speak to the manager. Tell them you realize this wasn’t at all their fault but it really put a damper on your stay and you’d like to see “what they can do for you.” Often they’ll offer a percentage off the room or a free breakfast. At the least, you can get a late check-out because you need to make up some sleep before you hit the road.
- Animal adoptions
In love with a $25 puppy someone has advertised in the newspaper? Don’t pick him up with your carrying crate so fast! Tell the owner you’d love to have him and give him a great home but you need to pick him up after he’s gotten his initial shots. It’ll save you a trip to the vet and all the costs associated with it. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of other chances in your new buddy’s life to accompany him on these costly outings.
- Get new purchases delivered FREE!
This is one of the bargaining points furniture salespeople have available to make a sale. Use it. If you feel like you need an excuse, tell them because you have to wait a day, they don’t have your color in stock (or whatever applies), you’d love if they could waive the delivery fee. They usually won’t want you going down the street where they might have it in stock and you can get it today. Furniture can be an impulse buy and if you walk out the door, they could lose you.
- Frame your own pictures
This is a big one. Never get a picture professionally framed unless you have a ton of money to blow, or you want something very specific. It can be hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Order a print from www.posters.com or wherever, and then go to Kmart, Target or Michael’s (craft store), buy something with another picture or poster in it, remove it and slip yours in. It’ll already have nice matting and frame and you won’t be too broke to buy nails to hang it.
- Free dessert for celebrations
A lot of restaurants will do a birthday dessert for free if you let them know it’s someone’s birthday at the table. Some charge though so make sure they aren’t saying “yes” they do it, but forgetting to say “and it’ll also cost you $4.95.”
- Room upgrades at hotels (or higher floors)
If a hotel isn’t booked, they will often give you a complimentary upgrade for a birthday, anniversary, etc. Just kindly tell them that you are there for a special occasion. Always show them that you aren’t being demanding by saying something like “I’m sure the standard room we have is great, but if you aren’t too full and there is any way you can put us on a higher floor or something with a nicer view, I’d really appreciate it.” They will if they can. Often asking to speak with a manager will give you a better chance. And no, it’s not rude or pushy ever to ask for a manager.
- Keep it cold at no cost
Many hotels will charge $10 for an in-room refrigerator but most will waive the fee if you have to keep medication cold, so just ask when you check in. I’m staying out of the ethics on this one so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the lie of saying you having medication when you don’t just to keep your dinner leftovers cold so you don’t have to pay for breakfast in the morning. I really do need one for my medication so I use this all the time and they never question it. Note: Most kitchens at hotel restaurants will re-heat something for you if you go downstairs and ask. That way, you aren’t stuck with a fridge full of stuff you won’t eat.
Good luck and just remember, no one offers anything for free. You have to ask. The worst possible thing that can happen is someone will say “no.” If they do, big deal. If not, cha-ching!