Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Pays to Continue to Check Prices After a Big Purchase!

About 2 weeks ago, I spent $788 on a set of new tires for my car. I did some internet research on the price and I got the best deal, at the time.

For some reason, I decided to check the price on the internet again. And what did I find? The price went down $10/tire! (The web site also indicated that the store was out of stock of the tires I purchased. Looks like I purchased the last set at the higher price and the newer inventory was cheaper.)

I was sufficiently miffed that I called the store to see whether I can get a refund for the difference. Unfortunately, the first guy that answered said, "Yeah, well, the price of tires are like gas prices. They go up and down. You don't go back to a gas station to complain that the price went down a week later, right? So we can't refund you the difference."

I politely asked, "I would like to speak to your manager." The peon replied, "Well, I'm the assistant manager and the manager's not in. Tell you what. I'll contact the regional office and see what they can do for you. I'll give you a call."

Of course, I never got a call back. I called again and asked for the manager. This time, I got the real assistant manager. And guess what? He said he'll refund me the difference but I had to drive to the store 60 miles away. Since I was headed that way on business anyways, I said, "Sure." That's 44 smack-a-roos, baby! Woo hoo!

Here are the lessons I've learned:
1.) Continue to check prices after a big purchase. If the price goes down within 30 days, always ask for the difference.

2.) Don't accept "no" from the peon who answers the phone. Always ask for the manager. And always take down the date, time and name of the person you spoke to.

3.) If the answer over the phone is still "no", go to the store in person. It's much harder for someone to say "no" in person. And, the store doesn't want anyone making a ruckus in front of other patrons, so they're likely to relent.

Happy haggling! :-D


jpkittie said...

good job! it never hurts to ask!

one day I was in American Eagle looking at a super cute pair of sweats... the store manager was working the floor & he told me that those pants would be perfect (of course they would, right?!?!) I looked at the price & said that there was no way I was spending $49 on a pair of sweatpants... he said, well how much would you spend? I told him that I would happily pay $30 for them... he said "done" and I walked out of there with a super cute of sweats for $30 (+ tax) ---- this also happened last Christmas with a big stuffed animal that I wanted for dd --- it was a huge giraffee (she loves them) it was $105 & they had marked it down 40% --- I walked up to the counter & gave them my card (I have a mommy business card) and told them that if they ever dropped the giraffee down to $50, give me a call... I would love to buy it. She stopped me & did it right then & there. I walked out with a 5 foot tall giraffee that day :) So it never hurts to ask!!!

Ms. MoneyChat said...

jpk is right, it never hurts to ask! great job. see, you're $40 closer to that estimated tax liability;-).

Miss M said...

Awesome, good job on following up. I was just thinking last night that I needed to start checking prices after I buy for the very same reason.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-Good for you! Perseverance really paid off, a nice amount back too! Have a lovely Xmas my dear!

Anonymous said...

Nice work! That's cool that they honored the price (even if it took some talkin' to by you!)

Money Beagle said...

And, you're going to take the $44 and send it right off to pay against a debt, right? ;)

Shtinkykat said...

jpkittie: Awesome haggling work! OMG, a 5 ft giraffe for more than 50% off. How are you going to hide that from DD?

Ms. MoneyChat and MoneyBeagle: Ummmm.... my aim right now is to have no new debt for Christmas. This savings definitely helps towards that goal. If I have money left over, it'll go to my estimated tax liability first. Sorry Beagle!

Miss M: Yep. It's so easy to check falling prices on the web now. No excuses not to check.

Sharon Rose: Have a Merry X'mas yourself!

MOU: Persistence is key. For 44 bucks, I'll make multiple phone calls!