The Shy Person’s Guide to Getting a Price Discount

I am an introvert and I times I am also shy.  People use those terms interchangeably, but they are different things.  Shy people can be uncomfortable in social encounters and may avoid interactions and situations.  One such situation is asking for a discount when making a purchase.  I have learned that just about every price is negotiable but it can be hard to outright ask for a deal.  I have found round about ways to get discounts or price The ultimate shy person's guide to asking for a price discount messy moneyreductions without any drama or in anti-assertive ways.

Ultimately the goal should be to combat shyness but in the meantime, shy people deserve discounts too. So here is my…

Ultimate shy person’s guide to getting a discount.

Before buying anything, you need to ask yourself if this is something you need. Yes, need.  If yes, then ask if it is possible to get said need second-hand.  If it is a need and cannot be found second-hand then you will need to buy retail.  I have an aversion to paying the sticker price on anything.  I want a discount.

Price match

If the store has a price matching policy it can be as easy as waving a newspaper advertisement or smart phone app.  This is a proven method of getting a discount with the support of a store policy behind it and can be a simple way to have a discount applied to your purchase.  You can also take comfort in the fact you are getting the lowest price currently advertised.

Phone it in

If you want to avoid a face to face interaction, you could call in a store and talk to someone and ask if the item is in stock, what discounts can be applied. Less pressure but the salesperson may be less inclined to negotiate with a person on the phone.  At the very least you will know if your item is available and the current price.

Abandon your cart

If you place items in an online shopping cart at a site you are member of, there is a chance that the company will email you and offer you a discount on the items you abandoned.  This gives you a natural cooling off period before making the purchase and the chance of a discount you would not have received otherwise.

Use Established Discounts

Ask about seniors, student, military, Teacher, etc., discounts.  Many retailers offer regular discounts to certain groups. Make sure you are taking full advantage of them.

Look for defects

Stores are often willing to discount on products that have small blemishes. Food close to expiring or items with damaged packaging are good candidates. It is as simple as asking what their policy is these items. Stores are motivated to move blemished merchandise because it can be hard to sell and to make way for fresh product.

Ask when the item will be going on sale

This is a subtle way to start a discount discussion without coming right out and asking. If there is a sale planned you can ask if they will apply the sale price immediately.  I am surprised at the number of stores that will honor sales price before the sale starts.

Bring a strong negotiator with you

If you know someone who is a great negotiator or someone with more product knowledge, bring them with you.  My husband is relentless (although reasonable and friendly in his approach) about asking for a special price.  He is not leaving without a discount and a free T-shirt.  (He must have at least 50 free T-shirts in his closet.) That kind of support can be very helpful when you are looking at a big-ticket item and need added support and advice.

Remember — In each and every sales transaction there is an opportunity for a discount.  It does not require an extraordinary bravado or bluster to get a reduce price.  Even meek mild people like myself can get engineer a discount with the use of a few subtle and passive tactics.

Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on BrokeGIRLrich and Debt Discipline and

Friday Jet Fuel #15 @MoneyPropeller and Saturday Sharefest at The SitsGirls

39 Comments


  1. I’m an introvert as well. I typically like to buy things online for the convenience and being able to read reviews, but I’ve found I end up spending waaaay too much time deciding what to get when I could be doing something more productive. I’ll always ask about getting a discount if I notice something defective in a product that isn’t a deal breaker for me and definitely ask about price matching.
    Untemplater recently posted…People Are Funny!My Profile

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    1. Introverts unite! Online can be convenient – I have read that others are using apps that search the internet to find the absolute best price. I haven’t had the opportunity to use one but might in the future. Appreciate you stopping by.

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    1. Thanks. I have received a few emails this week with discounts offered so it is working – glad to hear it has worked for you too!

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  2. I NEEDED this article. I am so bad at trying to get discounts. The online shopping cart tip is a good one (my laziness might help me out occasionally, haha). I always bring strong negotiators with me to make big purchases, but until reading this it didn’t dawn on me to bring them for smaller purchases too! Thanks for sharing!!
    Brittany @ Fun on a Budget Blog recently posted…Budget Basics – Wiggle Room in the BudgetMy Profile

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    1. LOL Lazy negotiation. I hate to pay full price for anything so always looking for an angle. Thanks for coming by.

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  3. Love, Love, Love this post!

    I’ve always struggled with how to approach speaking up for myself on certain topics – especially discounts. I suppose I don’t want to seem like a complainer.

    Well done Robin on getting that 2 bucks off! I think once we get past our own mental barriers and have some successes it helps us down the road, which can turn into some huge savings!
    Jonny recently posted…Comment on Dear Stock Market: You’ve Ruined Thanksgiving! by MayMy Profile

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    1. Thanks Jonny. I like to think of it as passive negotiation.

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  4. I like that you distinguish between being shy and being an introvert. 🙂

    Great idea to just ask when the sale is coming. I hadn’t thought about that. I should probably try to negotiate more — am pretty good about it at car dealerships but not so much everywhere else.
    Jean @ NearlyRetired recently posted…Retirement: Changes and Community (and Brazil!)My Profile

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    1. You are right – with cars we expect to negotiate but we expect retail prices to be bottom line. I could write a whole series on introvert vs. shy LOL. Thanks for coming by and your trip pictures were great.

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    1. Appreciate you coming by and commenting. There is almost always a discount to be had. Maybe I should make a print out list. (?)

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    1. Thanks Michael – you are right. The price variations are surprising and you can do better if armed with knowledge.

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  5. I’d never thought of some of these, especially abandoning the shopping cart, I usually will empty the shopping cart before signing off, now I’m going to have to give this a try.

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    1. Thanks – this might be my new Christmas shopping strategy.

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  6. Great tips for those of us who just aren’t assertive when it comes to this stuff. Still laughing over your husband refusing to leave until he gets a discount and a free t-shirt. Love that!

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    1. Thanks for coming by and commenting. I wish the T-shirt thing was a joke – but it is not. LOL

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  7. Oh, I like the abandoned cart idea. You know I have done that, not intentionally and received emails from the company. I can’t remember if there was a discount attached, but I will give that a try moving forward. My buddy is trying to help me understand the difference between shy and introvert (as she claims to be both – I just don’t see it). Thanks for helping to clear it up.
    Debt Free Divas recently posted…6 Financial Lessons We Didn’t Get in Home ECMy Profile

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  8. I’m not shy but I wouldn’t have even thought of these things. If you are trying to get a discount on a want (not a need) you can always be prepared to walk away. It’s funny but when I first read “Abandon your Shopping Cart” that’s what I thought you meant but for a retail store. Like, if they won’t give you a discount then just leave the store leaving everything you put in your basket so they see how much business they missed out on and still have to put everything away. Ha! That’ll show them not to given someone a discount next time! My mind is warped. And then I pictured some sales person running after you saying “Okay, okay, alright already, we’ll give you your freakin’ discount!”. #funtimesinmyhead
    debt debs recently posted…55 Reasons it’s Okay To Be 55My Profile

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    1. Ok – Debs you win the internet today. Best comment award. I can totally picture this scenario going down at the cash register. Awesome. How do I tweet this?

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  9. I love using the cart trick! Another thing I do is sign up for email clubs. Oftentimes companies will send you a nice surprise for your birthday. It’s only once a year, but hey it’s something for doing next to nothing.

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    1. Oh good idea! It is a pain signing up for sites but it can pay off. Appreciate the tip!

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  10. I feel like I’m bipolar about negotiating. A lot of times I can’t be bothered or it makes me uncomfortable, but every once in a while I feel like a switch flips in me and I become a barracuda. I remember buying a grill at Home Depot and they gave us the last one on the shelf and I talked them down like 50%. It was a pretty proud moment.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #60My Profile

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    1. Congrats on the grill win! I usually bring the barracuda with me but I know what you mean about being more motivated at times to score. Thanks for hosting #finsavsat – appreciate it.

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    1. I guess I should have also mentioned google for coupons because many of the online retailers have coupon codes hidden somewhere on the internet – you just have to find them.

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  11. This is an excellent topic idea!! I am a huge extrovert, BUT i am also terrified of confrontation. I was so proud of myself for asking for a discount on a dress where the belt was missing, to find out my mom got a similar discount for something more minor three tills down at the same time once.
    Anne @ Money Propeller recently posted…Friday Jet Fuel #15My Profile

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    1. LOL re: your mom. Some people are born with it and some us gotta work at it but I can be done.

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    1. Thanks! The cart trick does not always work – but it works enough that I still do it. I have not figured out which sites are better than others but overall online retailers are trying hard to monetize abandoned carts.

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  12. Negotiating is really just asking questions. I think it helps if you check prices online first because you have information that may help you.
    krantcents recently posted…Chess Is Life!My Profile

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    1. You are right – checking online can give you the information you need to get the best price. Great tip. Thanks for visiting.

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    1. I know what you mean. Congrats on the your first successful negotiation – now the world is your oyster. Thank you for coming by and commenting.

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  13. I’m totally an introvert person and very shy too, while my husband is very opposite! I don’t usually talk, especially when asking for a price discount but my hubs will do the talking.

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    1. Sounds like we are both lucky. I leave a lot of it to my husband too, while I go hide somewhere from embarrassment. Appreciate you coming by.

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