This past Friday night I was reminded of the importance of being proactive and asking for a discount when you’re shopping. We’ve been in the market for a new TV for a little while now, and we finally narrowed our search to one model in particular. Circuit City had it in stock and for a good price, but I decided to stop off at Best Buy before making the purchase (they’re only about a block apart).
I was in a hurry, so I rushed to the back, checked the price, saw that the Circuit City price was selling it for about 15% less, and turned to head out. On my way out of the TV section, a Best Buy employee intercepted me and asked if there was anything he could help me with. I pointed to the TV in question and told him that I wanted to buy it, but that Circuit City had a much better price. He replied that he was sure that he could match it. Without even thinking about it, the first thing out of my mouth was “Can you beat it? If all you can do is match their price, I’ll just go buy from them.”
My thinking was that if Circuit City was selling it for a better price in the first place, I should reward them with my purchase. But if Best Buy was willing to undercut Circuit City, then I’d happily buy from them instead. After tapping away at his keyboard for a minute or two, he said that he could give me 20% off. Score! That was a good bit better than Circuit City, and it saved me from heading back over there. Sure, I could’ve pushed harder, or I could’ve shopped that price back to Circuit City, but I was anxious to get my weekend started, and wasn’t about to waste a ton of time in pursuit of a few additional dollars.