When the budget is tight, experts say that you can help yourself by learning how to get great shopping deals.
Learn to bargain
Look for similar products online, print off the best deals, then when you go shopping, ask the store to match it. Say something like, “If I buy this stereo online, it’ll be R300 cheaper. If you’re prepared to offer me the same discount or throw in a free CD, I’ll buy it from you now,” says author of How To Pay Less For More, Marc Lockley.
When it comes to shopping, avoid the big names and look local. Smaller shops like the chance to match prices of online stores, says Sarah Dennis, a retail and consumer expert. Remember that the owner or decision maker is often on the shop floor.
Don’t overlook designer stores
They do deals, just in subtle ways, says stylist and fashion expert, Leigh Toselli. “But you need to ask. They won’t volunteer to give you a discount but if you’re spending a little more than you usually would, point it out and ask for a better price.”
Don’t give up
A lot of boutiques give staff permission to take 5-10% off if a customer asks for it, says Leigh. If you don’t get the deal you want, be firm about walking away. The staff might just chase after you.
Don’t bypass perishables
Go to a flower shop, deli or bakery at the end of the day when they’re about to close, says Sarah. “Point out stock they need to shift that day and ask if you can take it off their hands for a discounted price,” she explains.
Barter over hotels
“Look at off-season deals advertised, e.g three nights for the price of two, and ask for it at another time of the year. Say you’re deciding between a couple of properties and be flexible about dates,” says Marc.
Remember white goods are winners
“Kitchen appliances, furniture or electrical products are ideal haggling material, as staff know you can choose to buy the same brand from several outlets,” says Sarah. Try to compare two products. Say, “I prefer the one you stock, but I need a better price to buy it.”