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    Just Ask For Savings
    Are you leaving money on the table? You may be losing out on savings in dozens of situations and not realize it. While you may be familiar with negotiations during a car purchase, you will be surprised to learn so many other items and services are also up for negotiation and bargaining. The Shopping Queen lives by the simple rule of “Just Ask.”

    In many stores and situations, you can “Just Ask” for a price or rate discount. Here are a few cases:

    Monthly Services & Bills

    1. Cable and internet rates: With so many choices for internet service as well as cable and satellite services, you have competition working for you. If your rates are high, just call your current provider and ask them to match other providers’ rates. Most of the time, you will get a rate discount.

    2. Credit card rates:Credit card companies send you a lot of offers before you finally become their customer. Once they have you, they don’t want to lose you, especially if you carry a balance and pay finance charges. If your rates no longer seem attractive, contact the credit card company and ask them to give you a lower rate. If you have good or average credit and have been paying on time, they will usually knock a few percentage points off your rate.

    3. Subscriptions and maintenance fees: Are you being rewarded for your loyalty? Many times, the best rates and plans are only available for new customers. If you have been a long term customer, call the service center and ask what they can do for you. While they might not give you the new customer promotion they might give you a month’s credit or a percentage off your annual dues.

    Shopping At Stores

    1. Floor samples or lightly damaged goods: If you are willing to buy the last display item or the floor sample, you can get a discount. The discount is typically 10%-30%. For lightly damaged clothing or shoes in department stores, ask the sales associate for a discount. Many are authorized to offer a 10% discount, if you are looking for more of a discount, ask for the manager.

    2. Ask for promotions and specials:When we go shopping and are approached by the sales staff, most of us say, “Thanks, but I am just looking.” Instead of that, ask what are the promotions or sales. You can learn about advertised and non-advertised deals.

    3. At the check out: Many stores have special coupons. When you are checking out, make sure to ask, “Do you have any coupons that I can use for my purchase?” Many times, they have extra coupons at the register or the sales associate will tell you where some may be available.

    Tips for Negotiating

    1. Be polite: When asking for a discount, make sure you say please and be appreciative once you receive the discount.

    2. Negotiating is for every store:Most people think of negotiating at small mom and pop stores, but large national retailers are just as open to negotiating as small retailers.

    3. Don’t push your luck: Ask for the discount, but don’t push for an even bigger discount. Many stores can return items to the manufacturer for credit, so while they may be willing to make a customer happy by giving you a discount, they don’t want to necessarily give it away either.

    4. Be realistic: The new merchandise that just rolled into the store is probably not going to be subject to any discounting. Your best bet is merchandise that has been sitting on the shelves for a while.

    5. Think beyond price: While a price reduction is the best, sometimes other options may be available, such as a free extended warranty or credit for future services.

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