Being social can save you money. Uh huh, that’s right. Making conversation and small talk can win you discounts and freebies — all for being your charming, friendly self.
In fact, I proved this point yesterday. I had to bring my brother’s necklace to the jeweler for repair. While there, I mentioned that I needed some links taken out of a pretty watch Mr. Saver gave me as a birthday present. He took out the links (I have a tiny, tiny wrist!) and when I asked how much I owed him, he waved me away and said the magic words: “No charge!” I also received a free birthday cupcake courtesy of Maureen Jaret, owner of The Petite Cafe in Nutley, home of the most delicious stuffed cupcakes you’ll ever have. I got the Chocolate Overload flavor, naturally!
Echoing this idea is Revanche, over at A Gai Shan Life’s post “It Never Hurts To Ask” — and the commenters are right on the money. Ask, and ye shall (often) receive.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, after you work up your nerve:
- Make a call to your cable or cell phone company. Ask if you qualify for any discounts or promotional packages. A lot of people, me included, have had luck with this one.
- Barter with retailers. Ask if you can get the item for a lower price. The cashier might offer you a discount or coupon
- Offer something in exchange for a deal. Obviously, keep it legal! Skip the big-box stores for this one and focus on local retailers who might need your services in exchange. For example, offer to create a brochure in return for a free eye exam.
- Call customer service if a product isn’t up to snuff. I’ve done this twice, and both times were a success. I purchased a six-pack of Coca-Cola, and when I got home, one can was magically empty (with no visible damage. I was sent a coupon for another free six-pack. And when I had a defective printer cartridge (didn’t work, right out of the box), HP was gracious enough to ship me a new one, free of charge.
Of course, it’s better to give than to receive. The key is to reciprocate whenever you can. This could lead to a barter system — a free haircut for writing a press release or two, or computer repair in return for fixing a clogged sink. We each have a particular set of skills that can be of use to others.
Christmas on the “cheap”
We’re definitely going to have a debt-free Christmas — that is, if either of us do a lick of Christmas shopping before the 25th! Yesterday, I made nearly $600 by selling what I call “old boyfriend” jewelry. Nothing sentimental, just some of the rings, bracelets and necklaces I’ve received over the years from significant others. Plus some really out-of-date silver jewelry — anyone remember these “squiggle” or “zigzag” earrings from the late 1980s? Really, I wonder what we were thinking. So my little jewelry sale gives us a lot of breathing room when it comes to gift-buying this season.
Rainy-Day Saver on the Web
Had a good start to the week in Rainy-Day Saver land, with this blog featured on two other websites:
- Karen Datko over at MSN Smart Spending used one of my blog posts as a springboard for her post “Are social media and work at cross purposes?” She discussed my post Is Social Media Killing Your Productivity & Earning Potential. Seeing that on Tuesday morning was an excellent birthday present!
- Kyle at Suburban Dollar hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance #234 — Weirdest Toy Crazes Edition, and featured the same post, Is Social Media Killing Your Productivity & Earning Potential.