A lot of people like hunting down the deals on Black Friday, but the real deal action might be on what’s left over after the big day!
Just like Rudolph and Clarice…
My wife and I recently went to Home Depot and were smitten by a 48″ Standing Buck and 27″ Grazing Doe pair advertised for $49 as an exclusive Black Friday special buy. (A similar set typically retails for $89.98.)
The thing is, we went on Sunday evening, not Friday morning. That’s when we found this two-piece pre-lit LED yard decor set in the Garden Center.
They were standing alone in a corner with a sign around the buck’s neck that read “Last One in Stock!” It was like a scene straight out of the beloved TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!
At end of the long holiday weekend, the set was still selling for $49—the same price that was advertised front and center in Home Depot’s Black Friday sales circular.
Knowing that ‘last in stock’ sign was my cue, I asked the first retail associate I could find if I might be able to get a further discount on the Black Friday price.
After all, these animals were just sitting there unloved anyway!
It took a few minutes, but eventually I tracked down the right person and got a 10% discount off the Black Friday Price.
Here’s the moral of this story: You can likely get a discount on ‘last one in stock’ merchandise any time of the year. If you want to try your luck, heed the following…
Go shopping on the last day of the holiday weekend or sales period
There will likely be some leftover merchandise just sitting there looking kind of sorry. If the merchandise has some minor damage like a few scuffs, or it has uglied out in some other way that doesn’t impact performance, so much the better! That’s extra negotiating power for you when asking for a discount on damaged goods.
Look for floor merchandise that hasn’t been sold
In this case, the “Last One In Stock” sign was the dead giveaway and what initially caught our eye. Stores ship in a lot of holiday merchandise that they’d rather get rid of before the season ends. That’s the kind of stuff you’re likely to score the deepest discounts on if you just ask.
Don’t take no for answer from the first person you speak to
The first associate we spoke was very nice and helpful, but initially told us it was unlikely the manager would discount Black Friday merchandise any further than it had already been discounted.
If we took her word for it, we never would have added the nice buck and doe to our family. Ask to speak to whoever is empowered to really make a decision on discounts. That will usually be the manager.
Remember, polite persistence wins the day!
Get it in writing
Don’t take anyone’s word for it about a discount. You don’t want to be surprised when you get up to the cashier and have nothing to show for the discount you say you were granted.
That’s why you always want something in writing—unless the manager is ringing you up right there and then with the discount.
Our discount was conveyed with a simple note that read, “10% off per Elena (the associated) and Trevor (the manager of the Garden Center.” It also had Elena’s signature to verify it authenticity.
It’s the start of a busy holiday season and retail workers are already feeling a bit stressed out. Remember to smile and be pleasant—regardless of whether or not you get the additional discount you’re seeking.
Read more: 8 things to buy after Thanksgiving
Why you shouldn’t buy restaurant gift cards this holiday season
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