Ten Ways to Ask for a Lower Price or a Better Deal
March 12, 2007
Have you ever been quoted a base price then blindsided with additional fees? Just the other day, I was shipping some recent eBay sales at the UPS store and they charged me a $4.50 “Rural Surcharge Fee” on a package whose base shipping price was $9.
I’ve seen this fee pop up before on shipments costing $15 or $20 but this was too much. The fees raised the cost of shipping by 50% so I brought it up with the guy and he ended up waiving the fee for me. This experience reminded me that sometimes all you have to do to get a better price is ask. Here are ten different ways to go about it.
“I know your policy says you have to charge everyone this fee but I do all my business here because I like the service you provide and even refer my friends to you. Wouldn’t it make sense to waive the fee for a valuable customer like me?”
Loose Your Cool
Throw your receipt and pen in the air, kick a box or smack the counter, and yell, “I can’t take all these extra fees anymore! Give the base price or I’m walking away! Well, what do you say?!”
Mention the Competition
“Wow, that’s a lot more than FedEx. I guess I’ll be going there next time unless you guys can give me a better deal.”
Make it Personal
Scowl at the salesperson. “Every time I come in here, you charge me this extra fee. I don’t see you making anyone else pay it!”
Overwhelm them with questions. “What’s the fee for? How far do you have to live from city limits for it to kick in? How much do you charge per mile? Is it charged in all cities? How come it wasn’t on the shipping calculator? How often will I have to pay this? Does FedEx charge this fee? Is this a new policy?” Fire away until they’re flustered then demand a better deal.
Broke as a Joke
“Uh oh. I didn’t know anything about this fee. I didn’t bring enough to pay this extra amount and I have to get this shipped out today. Can’t you waive the fee for me?”
Obviously this won’t work for everyone but if you’ve got charm, now’s the time to turn it on. Work your magic to drop the price or waive the fee.
Promise Future Business
“My company mails 30 packages a week and I’m looking for a new shipping company. Low shipping costs are vital to my business. I’d like to start bringing all of my packages here if we could work something out about these prices.”
Treat the salesperson like your best friend. Make them like you and they’ll feel bad not getting you the lowest price. This one is pre-emptive, be nice from the second you walk into the store or they’ll smell a phony.
Simply Ask for a Better Deal
They’re in business to make money and won’t give you a lower price unless you ask. Ask them straight up, “What can I do to get a lower price?” I saved this one for last because some variation of this question should be used as a closer no matter which tactic you choose. You can’t get a better deal if you don’t ask.
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All posts by Ben Edwards