Don’t pay recommended retail price
How often do you walk into a department store and accept the ticketed price without asking for a discount, if it isn’t on sale? Mistake number one. First of all, don’t assume you are getting the best price. Would you do this if you were purchasing a car? Probably not! To get the best price on big-ticket items like vehicles and white goods, you’d haggle like your life depends on it.
So there’s no reason why you can’t apply this same approach to smaller purchases. If you know what you’re looking for beforehand, do a little research online. If you find it cheaper online, take a screenshot. When you go to purchase the item at the store, show the salesperson the screenshot and ask if they will price match or do better. If not, walk away and try somewhere else.
When it comes to items such as white goods, cash can be king, if you have it at your disposal. And while you’re at it, why not ask for free delivery! If you’re purchasing a new washing machine, ask to throw in a few boxes or washing detergent or for a coffee machine – cleaning tablets or a bag or two of good quality coffee beans.
How long have you been with your mobile phone service provider or energy provider? Have you ever been rewarded for your loyalty? If your contract is about to come up for renewal, now is the perfect time to ask your provider to come up with some good reasons why you should continue your loyalty.
For example, how much of a discount are you receiving on your gas and electricity bill? Ring the competition and ask how much of a discount they are willing to give you, if you move your account over to them. Make sure you also get a quote on how much they will charge you per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on a similar tariff, so that you’re comparing apples with apples. As a guide, there are three types of tariffs – single rate, time of use (also called flexible), and controlled load. The type of tariff and kWh you are currently being charged should be on your most recent energy bill. Armed with this information, start shopping around. Once you have found the best rate, go back to your current provider and ask them to match the deal or better still, offer you an even cheaper deal to retain your business.
The same applies to your mobile phone provider. Ring them up and ask to put additional credit on your account or some kind of sweetener for being a loyal customer!
Fees and charges
Oh yes, don’t the banks love charging you fees for this and fees for that! Again, don’t be frightened to negotiate with the banks to waive fees on your credit card or accounts. When your credit card is up for its annual fee, ring your institution and ask them to waive it, particularly if you use your card a lot. Suggesting you will cancel your card may also lead to the provider waiving the annual fee.
Remember, don’t feel intimidated when shopping around. You’re the customer - you have control. Every little bit adds up and before you know it, you will have saved hundreds.