July 8, 2008

Sometimes, All You Have to Do is Ask to Save Money

I recently returned from two weeks of traveling for both business and pleasure. As I was setting up the components of the trip (hotels, rental cars, etc.) I was disappointed to discover that there were virtually no deals to be had. This surprised me because there’s usually some sort of deal available and I’m very good at sniffing them out. (See my earlier article on how I take frequent trips on a limited budget) Normally I will balk and simply refuse to travel or pick a different destination if I have to pay full price but, since the trip was partly business, I had to go. I thought it was good that at least part of the trip would be tax deductible since I wasn’t saving much anywhere else.

As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to try a little experiment. Since there were no deals to be found I decided that, whenever I had the opportunity, I would ask for a discount. I know this idea will offend some people, but let me be clear: I wasn’t demanding a discount or asking for anything for free. I wasn’t rude or threatening. I simply inquired politely if a better price could be had for the purchase I was making. If not, I smiled, thanked the person for their time and went ahead with the transaction at the going price. It helps that I enjoy talking to strangers and I’m very comfortable negotiating and asking for what I want. Shyer folk may not be as comfortable as I was.

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