Shop it like it’s hot

August 6, 2009 · 5 comments

Shout out to my boy Snoop Dogg for inspiring today’s blog title. It’s time we all do a little shopping. For what? My favorite kind of shopping...bargain hunting. That’s right debt punchers, chances are many of you can save a couple Benjamin’s just by placing a few quick phone calls.

I wrote before, about the quickest way I saved over $200 a year and now it’s time to reapply those principles to even more aspects of our lives. So get your cute (or ugly) little booty on the phone and call up your car insurance company, cable/internet provider, cell phone company, credit card companies, etc and get ready to spit some mad game. I personally try at least once a year to shop around on my various insurance policies and cable plan. Here is how my conversation went last time I spoke with the cable guys.

Me: Hi, I’ve been pretty satisfied with my broadband cable service over the last year, but have received a pretty enticing offer from one of your competitors.

Them: And what offer is that?

Me: Basically everything you guys offer me, plus a few extra movie channels.

Them: And how much is their service expected to cost?

Me: The same as yours.

Them: Well we can offer you six months of HBO and Showtime for free.

Me: Hell to the Yeah bizznatch, sign me up.

I didn’t save any money, but it sure did sweeten my existing service. I encourage you to do the same. Call a few competing car insurance companies and let them know you want them to try and beat your current rate. They will do everything they can to lower your payment and win your service. A few minutes on the phone with a couple different companies could literally save you a couple hundred dollars a year. Plus, if you’re a freak like me, you get kind of a twisted pleasure out of trying to finagle an even better deal. Here is how your conversation might go.

You: Hi, I would like my car insurance to go from $600 every six months to $300 every six months.

Them: We would love to do that for you and we would also like to give you a puppy.

Maybe the last example is a little proposterous, but not taking a minute to reduce your bills is equally ridiculous. Here’s a list of the services you should try and reduce.

Insurance: Call competitors and ask if they can beat your current plan.

Cable: Call competitor ask if they can beat your service or call provider and ask if they have any specials running like free channels for “x” number of months.

Credit Card: Ask them to lower your interest rate or increase your credit line (only if you are responsible and wont actually use the increase).

Cell Phone: Call current provider and notify them you are considering a switch (even if you aren’t) and ask if they have any promotions that would keep you around.

Apartment: If you are renting and not completely in love with you current place, hop on craigslist and see if there is an equally mediocre place for a $100 cheaper a month.

Your assignment this weekend is to make some phone calls and save some money. Then report back to me with your findings. Worst case scenario, no one budges and you wasted 10 min of your life :) Is your life really that important though?

{ 5 comments }

1 Frugal Urbanite

The important thing when negotiating is to be actually ready to switch services/leave. If they say no, they're not lowering your cable, you have to be ready to follow through with your threat to leave.

We actually told the cable company that there was no way we were paying $70 for 400 channels we didn't want. They wouldn't give us a deal, so we just got Netflix instead. Turns out we don't even miss the cable, we get to watch hundreds of hours of anime we couldn't get on cable and we're saving $500+ a year.

2 SS4BC

When my 1 year "contract" rate was up on my cable ($75/month), they wanted to raise it up to $110/month (WTH?!). I called them up and told them I couldn't afford the new rate so I was going to have to drop services.

The lady was very nice and told me that she would see what kind of promotions she could get me. I ended up keeping the exact same service and now I only pay $66/month. GIGGITY. I had all my coworkers call that week to get the same deal, peeps were pretty happy with me. =)

3 Manshu

This worked for me too, as the cable company gave me extra channels for the same price.

4 Jessie

I do this every six months or so, I pick a different provider and try to get a discount or some such thing.

The last time I called our TV provider and wound up getting a $20 discount for the next year. That's $120 bucks saved!

5 Punch Debt In The Face

I'm glad to see you all have been maximizing your service and minimizing your bills!

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