Deeper discounts abound…just ask!

Friday, 13 March 2009 | Tags: , , , ,

I've been feeling a bit restless lately, anxious for a change of season, new beginnings and all that good spring-like stuff. Plus, I've been living in my duplex for almost seven years and I'm feeling that infamous itch...

Of course, I couldn’t have picked a worse time to sell so I’ve decided to stay put and get started on some of those home reno projects I’ve been planning to do for…well, seven years.

Project 1

The ugly bathroom countertops – gone. Finally! They were linoleum and I vowed to change them as soon as I moved in. Next, a paint job. New fixtures, a mirror and hardware too. All small fixes that I hope will increase the value of my house when the time comes.

Skill Surplus

Personal cash flow aside, it’s a good time to tackle any home improvements. A few years ago when I wanted some minor projects done around the house it was nearly impossible to find anyone to do it. Now, there are no jobs too small as tradesmen are eager to take the work. They’re actually calling me to ask when they can start instead of vice versa.


Ask and Receive

Deals abound as well. Asking for a discount has always been number one in our Ten Shopping Commandments and today, negotiating has never been easier. I found some beautiful lighting fixtures that were on sale, and I still asked for a better price. I got an additional 5% off. Better than nothing, considering they were already discounted.

I also found a side table (yes, my living room needed “finishing” too) and nabbed 15% off there. The trick is not to ask for a specific amount off, as you never know when you’re leaving money on the table.

At one of my favourite furniture stores, it was a bit of a different scenario. I found two pieces that I liked, including a mirror for the bathroom. When I asked for a better price, the sales woman told me “we’re cracking down on discounts due to the economic situation.” Discounts were only being extended to interior designers and their clients. Huh? How does that make sense? Shouldn’t you be offering better deals and be more willing to make a sale these days?


Negotiation Tactics

If you’re going to negotiate you have to be willing to walk away. I did, at least temporarily. My interior designer friend who’s been helping me with the bathrooms (thanks Effie!) contacted the store on my behalf. The salesperson then called me to tell me she could now extend the discount. Since I hadn’t found a better mirror, I went for it, saving myself another 15%.

The bathrooms look great and I’ve scratched that seven year itch, though I’ve yet to hang the mirror. It’s heavy so it’s going to take some engineering. Better do it right and avoid the seven years of bad luck!

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