Is there any instance in which you do not want to get a good deal? One of the best things that you can do is go through a store and pick out the things that you love, and have enough money to buy them all!
Getting a great deal, or finding things on sale, is a great way to stretch the money that you have. Other than earning more, you can definitely save more to end up with more money left!
In some countries, haggling and talking to someone to get a bargain is part of the consumer culture. The vendor will almost always quote you a price that is higher than it should be because he expects you to ask for a bargain.
It then becomes almost like a dance, where you have to give a price that you are willing to pay (it should be lower than you are prepared to pay) and then see how the shop owner responds.
Usually, you are able to eventually come to an agreement – but do not be afraid to walk away from the deal if it is not to your liking! You do not have to buy from anyone if you do not want to. T
hese kinds of practices are common in parts of the developing world, including Southeast Asia, for example, when prices that someone initially present to you can be more than 200% more expensive than they are willing to sell it for.
Sometimes, you just have to know what kind of tourist scams people often try to pull on you, and be aware of them.
In most developed countries, or at least if you go to a physical store, pricing is much more transparent. If you want to browse the items that are available, you can. When you do that, you also can see tags or signs that say the price of each item.
For these kinds of stores, the prices are usually fixed, meaning there is no negotiation welcome. However, you can find special deals, or sales.
This is because, for one reason or another, the store owner is willing to give you a lower price so that they can get rid of the items faster. This is common in places like clothing stores, where the item selection is seasonal.
If you go in winter, you probably want to buy large coats and thick pants. For the summer, you might be looking for a bathing suit or sleeveless top.
When it gets to the end of those seasons, the store will often discount their stock to make room for the clothes they have for the new season.
That is why the best time to buy winter clothes in the Northern Hemisphere is in March or April, and the best time to buy summer clothes is in January or December.
Some stores – including restaurants – will have special discounts to entice you to come to their store on a particular day, or to try a new product.
If you want to take advantage of these sales, these are some of the questions that you can ask!
1. What are the specials?
Typically, when asking about a special, you are in a restaurant. Restaurants, ranging from fast food to high end fancy ones, often have something that they want to nudge you towards ordering.
(Sometimes this is because they have extra of a particular ingredient.)
For most restaurants where you sit down to eat, they will have specials that are priced lower. You can always ask your server to introduce them to you, and try something new!
- What are the specials for today, sir? I am a vegetarian so please let me know the ones without meat only.
- Does this restaurant have any specials for appetizers? We would like to hear the options.
2. Can I get a discount?
Sometimes, you can ask for a discount directly. This does not often work, but you would be surprised when it might get you a good deal. Discounts usually come in two different forms: fixed rate and fixed amount.
The fixed rate discount is a discount that varies by the amount of money that you plan on spending. If you have different options for things, the amount that you can save is higher if you spend more.
This kind of discount is usually presented as a percentage or fraction. For example, if the discount is 10%, you can save $10 if you buy something for $100, or $20 if you buy something worth $200.
The other type of discount, the fixed amount, is the same for both. If you have a $10 discount, you will save $10 if the item is $100 or $200.
Sometimes, you can ask for a discount if you buy more than one thing (buy in bulk). Some people are willing to give you a discount if you buy 3 shirts, but not if you buy just 1.
- I hate to ask this, but can I get a discount?
- If I buy 5 bags, can I get a discount?
3. Are there any discounts available?
Sometimes, the salespeople that you talk to are happy to tell you what kind of deals their store is having. This is especially true if they earn money by commission, meaning they earn a portion of what you spend.
Though you will spend less, you are more likely to actually buy something, which can be a challenge in the first place. If you are very friendly with a salesperson, they may even use their friends and family discount code to get you a great deal.
- Before I pay, are there any discounts available?
4. Is there anything on clearance?
Clearance is what happens when a store really wants to get rid of certain items. This is often because there are only one or two of the items left, they are about to expire (food items), or they are out of season (like clothes).
In this case, most stores will have a special clearance section, where all of these kinds of merchandise are stored. Ask about them to be shown what the deals are! Take note that many of these items are out of style, or close to expiring.
This does not make them bad, but there is a reason that they are on clearance! Often, however, you can find discounts of 30% or more.
- Excuse me, is there anything on clearance here?
5. Where is the clearance section?
The clearance section is where all the items on clearance are stored. This is a great place to browse, even if you are not sure that you want to buy anything.
Special sections with all the items on clearance are common in clothing stores, but other types of stores have them as well.
- I am looking for the clearance section. Where is it?
6. What all is on sale?
If you are looking for a sale, just ask for it! There may not things on clearance, but most places you can shop have things on sale. There are some small variations of this question, including:
- What all is on sale?
- What things do you have that are on sale?
- Do you have any items that are on sale?
7. Is anything being liquidated?
A liquidation is what happens when a business needs to sell a large amount of its inventory, usually because it is going out of business or moving to a smaller location. To liquidate something means to turn it into cash.
This means that the store owner usually just wants to get some money out of the things that they still have left, and you can find amazing deals. Often, everything in the store is included in the sale, so you can buy all kinds of things at once!
- I heard this store is being closed down. Is anything being liquidated?
8. Is this a closing out sale?
Another term for a liquidation is a closing out sale. For these, almost everything is price at the wholesale price that the store gets it from, so you can save a lot!
- I saw a going out of business sign on the front door! Is this a closing out sale?
9. Are there any coupons that I can use for this?
Some stores have their own coupons. These are slips of paper that you can bring with you to the store to get a cheaper price on items!
For the stores that do not have their own coupons, you might be able to find a manufacturer’s coupon – or a discount that is given by the company that makes the products.
Companies that want to introduce their new product or help get them into different stores can offer these, and then reimburse the company when the coupons are redeemed.
- My friend said that she got this item for 50% off last week, I think with a coupon. Are there any coupons that I can use for this?
10. Does the store have any special offers on their products?
This is another question that you can ask the salesperson that you meet in the store.
11. Are you able to give me a better price than that?
To be able to ask this question, you usually have to talk to a manager or owner. The person has to have the power to give you discounts, so that means it has to be someone with some authority.
However, you could also use this sentence when bargaining with a street vendor. Usually, they are in charge of their stalls, and decide on each of the transactions that they conduct with their customers. When I travel, I almost always ask this after they give me an initial price!
This is also a useful sentence for when multiple people are “bidding” for you. When there are several people asking you to buy from or do business with them, you can get an offer from one and ask this question to the other.
- Come on, I saw someone else offer that lady $3 lower than yours! Are you able to give me a better price than that?
- She offered me $20 per hour, are you able to give me a better price than that?
12. Do you have any packages that I can consider?
Often times, the more volume you buy, the lower the cost of something. This is because people are more willing to give you a lower price per unit since they can make up that revenue by selling you more.
Even though they make a little less for each thing they sell, they can make more overall. That also explains why buying a 20 pack of water bottles at Costco comes to $0.50 each while if you buy just one bottle, it costs $2.
In many service-based businesses, the vendor is more than willing to give you a better deal if you buy more of them. For example, a language tutor might charge you $20 per hour.
However, if you book ten lessons at once, they might only charge you $190 out of the $200 that the lessons are worth. If you know that you are going to use up those things anyways, it only makes sense to buy them or pay for them in advance! That way, you can get a discount!
- I would be interested in taking more classes with you. Do you have any packages that I can consider?
- My thinking is that having classes every month will be a great way to make sure that I practice. Do you have any packages that I can consider?
13. Are you going to have a markdown on this soon?
A markdown is also known as a markdown in prices. In other words, it is a discount! If you have something that is made cheaper, that is a markdown.
If you are shopping in a store for something, but you do not need it right away, you can always ask whether there will be a markdown on that item later.
If there will be, you can wait a little bit to buy that item and save some money in the meantime!
- There might be another month before I need the tent to go camping. Are you going to have a markdown on this soon?
- Are you going to have a markdown on this soon? If you are, I think I am willing to wait until then to buy the item.
14. Do you price match with other stores?
If a store is willing to price match, that means that they will match the lowest prices of another store for the same product. This is really useful if you only want to or have time to go to a single store.
You should be able to talk to them about getting the price match, so that you only have to make one stop to get the cheapest prices for items.
In the United States, Walmart is sometimes willing to do this. If you bring in the advertisements of other stores, and show it to the employees there, they should be willing to change the prices for you!
While this is not exactly a discount, because you could just go to the other store to get that price, it does save you time. Because time is money, sometimes it really is worth doing!
- I found this item on discount at the grocery store down the street and brought in their ad for it. Do you price match with other stores?
- I think it would benefit both of us to make this the only place that I shop, so do you price match with other stores?
Other Places to Look for a Sale
Sometimes, the best way to get a sale is to go to a place that is made for sales. A lot of times that means buying something second hand, when it has been gently used by someone else.
This is good not only for the environment (the other person is able to sell their item instead of throwing it away or just letting it sit there) but also for both of you! The buyer can get a lower price, and the seller can get some money for that item.
A garage sale is something that you will sometimes see in the suburbs, where people have their own houses and yards.
For a garage sale, they will put some things that they are looking to sell in their garage, and all the neighbors are welcome to come and browse their items.
These are a great way to find good deals, because most people are just trying to clear out the things that they have in their homes.
- Do you have time to come with me to the garage sale this weekend?
- Look at this great painting that I found in a garage sale last week!
If someone is moving, especially if they are going to another country, they sometimes will have a moving sale. This is a good way for them to put almost everything that they have on sale, in the hopes that they will be able to get rid of it.
Considering that shipping things is very expensive, especially if they are large, it is not worth it to ship them. Selling them for cash and then buying replacements is much more economical.
For moving sales, that usually means that things like furniture (beds, couches, bookshelves etc.) and cars are included in the sale.
You might be able to get amazing deals, because the other choice that the people holding the sale have are to throw the items away or put them in long term storage.
- I spent almost $1000 at the moving sale down the street, but I got almost all the household items I will ever need!
- When we held our moving sale, we spent almost a month planning it to make sure that we could get rid of all our things.
A yard sale is also similar to a garage or moving sale. Instead of putting the items for sale in the garage, however, you usually put them in the yard directly. This is not a considerable difference when you talk about the contents of the sale, however.
- Amanda is holding a yard sale to raise money for charity, would you like to stop by?
- My father used to spend his Saturday mornings going to different yard sales in the neighborhood, looking for fish tanks that people no longer want. He found dirt cheap tanks and never bought one new.
A bazaar is a type of market. In the Middle East, it is like any type of street market. In other parts of the world, bazaars are usually used to raise money for something.
For the most part, the cause is a charity, and people bring their items to donate so that there will be things to sell. In that way, it is like a garage sale, but on a much larger scale and for a good cause!
- When I was in Girl Scouts, we used to hold a holiday bazaar every year to raise money for orphans who needed new winter clothes.
- Shopping at a bazaar is a good deal for everyone, since you can get a great deal, get rid of things that you do not want, and raise money for a good cause.
A flea market is similar to a bazaar in that there are multiple stalls where people sell items. It is a little different, because people who are at the flea market sometimes accept trades.
Rather than having to buy things, you might be able to trade your items or services for them. The items also tend to be cheap, so they are places to find affordable things. In addition, if you are lucky, you might be able to find antiques or collectibles!
- Do you know if there is a flea market in town? I am looking for a place to get a cheap new cabinet.
- I found this great rug at the flea market; it was a little dirty but it works just as well as any other rug after I cleaned it up a bit!