Always, always ask

By Mir
June 10, 2009

I happened to be at TJ Maxx this week with my daughter, looking for a new purse. I found one I really liked, but it was still quite a bit more than I wanted to pay.

My daughter—ever my protege—checked out the price tag and declared that I should “totally get it” on account of it already having been marked at the original TJM reduced price, then discounted twice more. In fact, we could see that the cost was now about 25% of the original MSRP. (Two words: Italian leather. Mmmmm.)

That bag had a few scuff marks. So I took it to a manager and asked if she might take a bit more money off, on account of the bag’s condition. She said that it had already been marked down twice, so the best she could do was another 10%. I told her I would need to think about it a bit more, and what should I do if I decided I wanted it at that price? Just tell the cashier, she said, that she’d okayed another 10%.

It was still more than I wanted to spend, but in the end I decided to buy it and take it home; if I got it home and realized I’d really spent too much, I could always return it. (But if I left it there, it might be gone if I decided I really wanted it.) We went to pay and I told the cashier what the manager had said. She said she’d get the manager behind the counter to make a new tag for it.

And the new tag was for 25% off instead of 10% off. I don’t know why—I don’t know if it was an accident or if the other manager meant to do it—but I do know that I have a pretty new purse for approximately 18% of the original retail price.

All because I asked.


  1. Sweeeeeet! I remember being about Chickie’s age at the hardware store with my Dad and the woman ahead of us in line was making a request for a special price if she bought two of the same item “because they were the last two”, offering up $10 for the pair instead of the $6.99 each.

    The cashier called up the manager and I was floored that he accepted the deal. My first intro to haggling at retail stores! She asked, and saved $3.98.

    I’ve since saved a bit of cash on items with missing buttons or torn hems and what not when I’ve requested it. You’re right, it’s worth asking – if they say no, you haven’t lost anything but a few moments of your time. 😉

  2. I love that Chickie is learning discounting and deals!

  3. Nice work! I always shop for purses at TJ Maxx, but all the gorgeous ones are still way over what I’d pay for them, even when they’re marked down. Glad you got a screamin’ deal!

  4. Sweet. You totally scored.

  5. The worst they could do would be to say no. If that happens, your decision will be made for you, and they’d lose a sale.

  6. I work at Target, and that actually used to work, but the new policy I think is that we don’t discount even damaged items. It kind of sucks. Sometimes a manager will give a 10% discount, but it just depends on the manager you get and if it is the last of the item. But, as you say, it NEVER hurts to ask!

  7. I just bought a Dyson yesterday at Target where the manager offered to take an extra 30% off (it had already been marked down to half off). I didn’t ask for the discount, just asked if it was going to be marked down again. Asking really works!

  8. We like to call that shopping were meant to have that purse!

  9. You have to tell us the brand, Mir!

  10. We bought a reallllllllly nice Dutch Oven from TJ a few months ago, and it had a wee bit of a scuff mark on the exterior. My husband thought it would buff off (and it did), but I asked and we also got a 10% discount which paid for the tax. Every little bit helps.

    And as far as the Dutch Oven itself, But it looks real purrrrty sitting on top of my itty-bitty countertop. One day I will use it. My wonderful husband has never once brought up the fact that I had to have it and then haven’t used it. I am blessed I tell ya, blessed.

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