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Ask These 5 Questions to Help You Negotiate a Better Price

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Carrie SmithGuest Blogger
August 27, 2016 · 1.4k Views

Most of us shy way from the idea of negotiating because we think it means coming off as a bit pushy, but you can still get a better deal by simply asking a question. Not only does asking for a discount save you money, but you can do so without enforcing the “traditional” negotiating tactics. Here are five questions you can ask that could help you get a better price.


  1. Will you take $X if I pay in cash today?

    Even with all the technological advances, payment apps and hundreds of credit cards to pay with, nothing is a stronger negotiating tactic than cash. Ask the dealer or sales rep if they will take $X right now if you pay the entire amount in cash. You may not the get the exact dollar amount you asked for, but most of the time they will consider this as they would rather have the cash up-front and paid in full.
  2. Does this expired coupon still work?

    Believe it or not, a lot of expired coupons are still valid. Or at the very least the manager might be able to give the discount mentioned on the coupon even if it doesn’t scan properly. Instead of throwing away that expired coupon, take it with you on your next store visit and ask the manager if they will accept it.

    Take a look at the Beginner's Guide to Stacking Coupons.

    Big retail stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart both take coupons that have past due expiration dates. So give it a try and see if you get the discount anyway.
  3. Do I qualify for any discounts?

    A lot of restaurants, and retail shops, offer discounts for seniors or the military that aren’t advertised publicly. Before finalizing your purchase, ask what kind of specials are available, or if you qualify for a lower price -- such as a student discount from Amazon, FedEx, Best Buy, Pottery Barn, and ASOS. Another lesser known discount is the family and friends deal where you could get a percentage off your purchase, or a few additional perks for being a family member.

    Check out these 100 Stores That Offer Discounts to Students!

    Also, inquire about upcoming sales or holiday promotions that might give you a larger discount if you wait a week or two. In my experience, most sales reps are pretty honest about upcoming sales and promotions, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may even get a pre-sale discount right then and there!
  4. Is this the best price you can offer?

    When dealing with small business owners and local stores, they want to keep you as a customer, so they’re usually willing to offer discounts. Ask if this is the best they can do, or if this is the final price. If they aren’t able to lower the price, then try walking away to see if that nudges them a bit more to work with you on a better price.

    Or perhaps they’re willing to barter with you in exchange for your services? Bartering free of charge is a great way to get what you want, and help them get what they want, without any money exchanging hands.
  5. If I cancel my service, do you have a better deal?

    When it comes to subscriptions and other household bills, you can almost always get a better deal. However, if you’ve already asked these other questions and haven’t made much progress, try threatening to cancel your service. This isn’t a tactic you should use all the time, because you could end up with cancelled service and have to find a new provider. But when it works it can be very effective.

    If you’re in the process of moving, or want to upgrade your service provider, now’s the perfect time to ask for a better deal before cancelling your service with them. Usually companies want to keep you as their customer and will offer a 6-month promotion, or a free trial, in an effort to keep your account.


Taking the time to ask these questions could potentially help you save hundreds of dollars a year. What could it hurt?


carefulcents profile picture
Hi, I'm Carrie Smith! I'm a financial writer and small business expert who helps freelancers build client-based businesses through meaningful relationships. I have a background in small business accounting and taxes and recently won an award for Best Entrepreneurship Blog for my site,

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