Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Never be afraid to ask for a deal!

In January, I wrote a post about emailing companies to let them know what you think of their product-whether you love them or hate them. If you have not read that post, check it out here. For today's Thrifty Thursday, I want to talk a bit about that and expand it our a bit to just say never be afraid to ask for a deal!  That old saying that is never hurts to ask is SO true in getting deals and living frugally! This is something I have really learned from my husband.

Let me explain.  Last week for Thrifty Thursday, I wrote about cheap dating.  We were very frugal in our dating, and I was always good with that. But I will tell you something, I was NEVER someone that would ask for a discount, would barter, or would even try to ASK for a deal, an upgrade, or a special service.  It just never occurred to me.  That all changed on our honeymoon.

Wes is 9 months (or 1 pregnancy) younger than me, and when we got married I was the only one old enough to rent a car. So, upon arrival in Florida, we headed over to the car rental place, where I started to check in and get our cheap car (the absolute cheapest we could get). Before they assigned us the car, Wes said "Hey! It's our honeymoon! Do you have any honeymoon specials?" Initially I was pretty surprised that he would ask about that, but the guy behind the counter smiled a huge smile, and upgraded us 2 car levels for free AND discounted the price overall! It was like magic!

Wherever we went the rest of our honeymoon, we made sure to mention it was our honeymoon, and got TONS of freebies! Free Parking, Free passes to the water park, free upgrades, free desserts and appetizers-ALL kinds of stuff!

So, my first tip for you is to tell people about special occasions! People often want to help you celebrate. That is why  restaurants have birthday deals and anniversary deals. Which reminds me-sign up for birthday and anniversary clubs at local restaurants, or stores that have them.  That is tip 2!

Now another tip I have learned from Wes since our honeymoon is that you should never be afraid to ask for an upgrade! Often hotels or car rental places (for example) have lots of people reserve the cheapest option, and their upgraded options are just sitting there unused. So, often if you ask a bout a free upgrade, they will give you one.  It never hurts to ask-the worst case scenario is that they say no and you get exactly what you ordered! So, tip 3 is Never be afraid to ask for an upgrade!

The last thing I want to mention in this post is what I talked about in the post here: Telling companies what you think of their product whether good or bad. You can read about some of my experiences with that by reading that post, but let me just say here, that you should be willing to write to companies (email is the usual way I go these days) and let them know what you think of their product! I have written to many companies to let them know why I appreciate their product, and I have occasionally written to companies to let them know why I was disappointed by their product/service. Often the company you notify will send you coupons or freebies in the mail in response! So, Tip 4 is to Tell companies what you think of their product or service!

What other tips do you guys have to go along with this? Have any of you had experiences where you were able to put any of these things into practice? Please share your experiences or tips with us all!

Next week's Thrifty Thursday will focus on how the "cheapest" is not always the best option, using the example of  The Castaway Hotel from my honeymoon-trust me, you will not want to miss this one!!