I've thought about this a lot as I was preparing for my move and taking care of various logistics.When I'd think of a way I could save some money, but wasn't an absolute sure thing, I'd recite to myself, "The worst they can say is 'no,'" and I'd pick up the phone.
Two experiences reinforced the wisdom of remembering that the worst thing you can get is a denial of your request:
- My husband and I had joined BJ's a few months earlier, but this store doesn't exist in Texas which meant we would lose out on a full year of our membership (because the store had just opened, we got a bonus two months for joining). I called up BJs and asked if I could get a partial refund. What do you know? They said yes. And since we'd only used the bonus two months, I actually got the ENTIRE membership fee refunded. That was a happy moment.
- I had spent the last several months stocking up on diapers, buying a package or two here and there whenever there was a really good deal. When my mom and I started getting things packed up (and by "my mom and I" I really mean "my mom" because I mostly laid on the bed or the couch), we discovered I had seventeen packages of diapers, not to mention at least a half dozen packages of wipes. They would have taken up an enormous amount of space in the car and shipping them would have negated the good prices I got for them. So I called up CVS Pharmacy and asked if I could return them for store credit and then rebuy them once I got to Texas. The manager said that was fine, I took my embarrassingly large cart of diapers to the checkout counter, and walked away with a gift card that fit easily in my wallet - much better than seventeen packs of diapers would have. You can bet I'm a CVS fan for life.
I happen to know that I'm not the only child in my family who has learned this lesson - Merrick just bought a high chair for her baby and asked the store to take 10% off because the box was quite damaged. Guess what? They said yes.