How to Politely Ask for a Discount or Reduced Rate

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We're all on a budget these days. Every bit counts. So why not ask for a discount? It can't hurt.


What to do: Strike up a conversation with a friendly salesperson, and lead with a compliment: "I love your store and really want to buy this piece. Is this the best price you can give me today? What if I take a floor model off your hands?"

Good to know: Appliance stores will often discount floor samples.


What to do: Ask at the register if the store has any coupons or deals running that you can take advantage of, suggests Lapin. If you left a coupon at home, just say so. Often the store will honor it anyway.

Cable Bill

What to do: Be direct. "I need to cut expenses, and I'm not happy with what I'm paying for my cable service. Do you have any promotions right now?" If you don't make any headway, tell the customer service rep that you're a loyal customer but your friend has a better plan with another company. Still no luck? Call back and try again with someone else.

Good to know: Similar strategies may work for your cell phone bill and credit card interest rate.

Medical Bills

What to do: Request an itemized bill, and make sure there aren't any errors. Then go to (a health-cost resource similar to the Kelley Blue Book for car prices) and look at typical costs for treatments in your area. Next, call your doctor and ask for a rate reduction. If you're in a particularly bad situation, you can claim financial hardship.

Good to know: You have to act within 90 days. Once a bill goes into collection, it's much harder to negotiate.


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