Sale prices possible when there isn’t a sale

If you don’t see a sale sign, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a deal. Here are four ways you could save money the next time you shop online or in person.

Sign up

If you’re willing to supply a retailer with some of your personal informatio, you could get deals in return.

“Consumers can visit the retailers’ website to sign up for coupons, or even download an app to receive alerts on discounts,” Maura L. Scott, an associate professor of marketing at Florida State University, said.

Many retailers offer a one-time discount just for joining a mailing list or rewards program or for agreeing to receive text alerts.


Contrary to what you may think, the price that you see on the sticker isn’t always the price that you have to pay, according to Emily Hunter, an associate professor of management at Baylor University.

“I find that people in general don’t consider negotiating an option when they’re at a store,” Hunter said. “They think about it as an option at a garage sale, but not like a big-box retailer.”

Shoppers can use a defect as leverage for a discount. Addi­tionally, if there’s any question of how much an item cost, try requesting the lower of the potential prices.

Even if there’s nothing wrong with a product, you can still ask for a lower price, Hunter said. Particularly on big-ticket items, retailers may want to work with you to win your business. To get the best outcome, be sure to clearly state what you want instead of starting with “what’s the best price you can give me?”

Just ask

If you saw a coupon for an item but forgot to bring it with you to the store, all is not lost: You can try asking for one at the register.

If you’re shopping online, try messaging or calling the retailer’s customer service department to see if there are any coupon codes available that you could apply to your order.

Don’t forget to ask about other deductions, too. Stores sometimes offer senior, military, student or other specialty discounts.