If you’re looking to spend less when shopping, how about making a cashier your tour guide to savings? It sounds counterintuitive, right? That’s precisely what shopping can be like when you follow these tips and have the cashiers function as money-saving mentors when you are looking to shop wisely.
Here are 3 ways you can enlist a cashier’s help to save you money
1. Be chummy
Having worked as a cashier and sales associate in retail throughout high school and college, I know many of the ins and outs of sales cycles and unwritten rules to get you steeper discounts.
Get to know the cashiers, especially if you frequent the store on a regular basis. The front end of the store is usually more aware of what’s on sale since all of the merchandise purchased has to funnel through them. They know about the sales cycles and normally have the latest flyer handy at their station. They may even be privy to information about an upcoming sale that isn’t advertised yet. This can help you strategically plan for your purchases and perhaps next shopping trip.
Many well-managed stores train the cashiers to have good customer service. Cashiers are prepared to greet, smile, and make eye contact with the customers. They also learn about potential scenarios that can play out while ringing people up at the register. This is done to be mentally equipped with what to say. They have a go-to script of answers to lean on in different scenarios that tend to frequently present themselves. So don’t be afraid to ask. Even if they themselves don’t know the answer, they will find someone who will.
If you visit the store on a regular basis, watch how the cashier interacts with other customers and get a feel for their personalities. Some may naturally be more minimal while others are willing to chat a little more which can assist you in plotting out future savings.
2. Give a heads-up
Prior to perusing the store, have the cashier or service desk find a sales associate for you in the section of the store where you’re hoping for a discount. Why use them? They can easily call for help in a department. So, let’s say you are on your way to the shoe department, they can help you hunt down the specific style or brand at varying price points. Make the person show you all of the options and pick their brains to see if the brands you like ever go on sale. They may even clue you in about upcoming promotions.
When you finally get to the checkout line, if you are supposed to get a special deal or receive a reward or gift card at the register, prep the cashier in advance before they start ringing up the items. Many stores hire extra staff during the holiday season. This could be their first time working as a cashier or their first time working ever. Dealing with the holiday crowd is high pressure and they may not catch everything if you don’t remind them.
3. Make the cashier keep up with the Joneses
Consumer & money-saving expert Andrea Woroch recommends being a matcher. She explains that most people don’t realize that stores are willing to price match the competition. Find out about their competitor matching policies. It never hurts to ask. She suggests showing the sales associate any web printouts, store circulars, or smart phone price comparison results to see if they’ll match the price. Some stores will even match the price of online retailers. Don’t forget to check mobile coupon apps for any competitor deals that the retailer may be able to also match.
About the author: Karen Cordaway is a former shopaholic that spent years wasting money until she learned how to stop by reading personal finance books and teaching herself how to budget and save. Major publications share her tips to turbocharge their cost-cutting abilities. Today Karen’s work is found on U.S. News Money and MoneySavingEnthusiast.com. Her writing has also been featured on Yahoo Finance, The Consumerist, Huffington Post, Fox News, Daily Finance and many others.