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Want a Better Deal? Ask!


Now here’s a bit of information that I should take to heart. It’s about asking for a better price. I’m a very quiet person, but I think I should come out of my shell a little bit to get some better deals!

Kimberly at Alpha Consumer recently wrote a piece on how she saved over $140 on a hotel room. How? She asked…simple as that.

To test my theory, I did a little experiment. For a minivacation, I wanted to go away for the weekend with my husband to a hotel near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Hotels there can go for $300 a night or even more, but I wanted to spend around half that amount.

Kimberly was able to get a room for $160 just by asking.

I think the next time we travel to visit relatives I’m going to try asking for a better rate at the motel. The worst they could say is “No.”


  • Reply Trisha |

    I’ve discovered that when I’m quoted a price by a contractor doing remodeling work for me, their first price is almost never what they really expect to be paid. They EXPECT to haggle. The first price they throw out is just wishful thinking. But, I haven’t tried haggling with hotels! Do you generally need to do that in person, or would it work over the phone I wonder?

  • Reply Matt |

    I’ve done this in the past and gotten a 10% discount on the spot. Sometimes simply asking will get you a better price but you might want to be armed with some information first. Every time I’ve done this I mentioned the fact that I could get a better rate online or at another hotel. It worked like a charm, definitely give it a try.

  • Reply Caitlin |

    That’s great!

    Just be careful about the types of places you try to haggle or ask for discounts.

    Places like hotels usually have different rates, and they can often offer you a better rate if you just ask.

    But some places, like the grocery store, the poor cashier can’t just give you a discount for no reason. Even if they wanted to, for the most part they are unable to. I was a cashier for 5 years all through school, and after one of those “how to get better deals” articles ran in the paper, we’d always get people asking for discounts or price reductions for no reason, and the way our computer system was set up, we were unable to do anything for them, and sometimes people would get really really angry with us!

    It’s all fine and good to ask (hey, you never know!) but if the person says they can’t do it, please just deal with it like an adult. Throwing a fit does not help your case, and makes the person behind the counter feel bad.

  • Reply Jim |

    A lot of people don’t ask for a deal because they think the price is fixed. Some prices you won’t see a lot of movement on, but if you can get 10% off or take advantage of the sales clerk marking down a price for you, go for it. I used to work retail and sold electronics, older people would always haggle price with me while younger people would just accept the price as is. Hotels are pretty easy to ask for a discount unless they know they will sell out at their current rates. Off weekends they try to get normal rates, but will discount just to reduce vacancy. It reminds me of that Burger King commercial, never doubt the power of your ASK.

  • Reply Sherri |

    Yep, you’ll also be surprised what being NICE to someone can do. I found a price online for a hotel room in a particular San Francisco hotel that was way cheaper than anywhere else ($110). The website was not one I was familiar with, so I didn’t want to trust it with my credit card information. So I called the hotel to ask them about the website and they never heard of it either. The rooms were $270. She immediately said she could give it to me for $220 without me even haggling. We talked for two minutes while she took my information and when she found out I was a grad student I got it for $205! So I got a 25% discount without even actually asking for any discount. I just called to see if they were familiar with the travel site I found!

  • Reply Kevin |

    Yes, I always ask for a discount for hotels. I start trotting out various memberships I have. AAA, corp discount, AARP (I’m not a member yet), whatever I can think of. It’s very seldom I don’t get some sort of discount.

    Didn’t know about the contractors.

    It works at some restaurants too. My pizza place always gives me a discount if I ask for it.

  • Reply John |

    Have you all seen betterbidding.com? It is probably the most helpful website I’ve come across… ever. It helps demystify Hotwire/Priceline. Those sites cut you the bargin on hotels that have rooms open, but don’t want it out there that they offered rooms at such a low rate. So these wholesalers do it for them, blindly. Betterbidding compiles information to decode the Hotwire/Priceline descriptions.

    I have saved well into the thousands using this site, and it has never been wrong for me (which can happen in theroy).

    Check it out.

  • Reply jesse |

    Actually this works REALLY well. Another little trick is the $20 trick (I think I wrote on it a while back) in any case, slip the hotel front desk clerk a 20 while you are checking in and ask for “complimentary upgrade” …it has worked every time for me for huge upgrades. As in double bed room to a suite. Pretty “sweet”.

  • Reply Da Big D |

    Always ask. I used to work at Best Buy, and some people would ask for a better price. If I thought they needed it I would go to a manager and he would give 10% off based on my word.

    I love to haggle and don’t feel I am getting a deal unless I do haggle…

So, what do you think ?