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 reductions 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.
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.