Monday, October 11, 2010

is blagging the new black ?

this week i somehow ended up talking to different people about blagging a good bargain and whether it works or not and it got me thinking...working in retail, i've seen more people than ever before lately ask for money off items or for freebies when they're purchasing..i suppose everyone is willing to push the boundaries of how much their hard earned euro is going to work for them , safe in the knowledge that stores are desperate for any kind of transaction these days as well as an 'i've got nothing to lose by asking' attitude...

i've always been mortified to ask for freebies/discounts , purely on the basis that i don't want to be a cheapskate and put someone in that awkward position not to mind the fact that i would turn purple if they refused...but i'm as broke as the next student and deided (for the good of retail science ofcourse)  to conduct an experiment...i headed to 3 department stores in the city as well as an online retailer to see how much bang i could get for my buck..

the item in question is a new new fragrance, edp (50ml) & body lotion (100ml) gift set, the name of which i have omitted as i don't really want to associate it's lovely aroma with this strange trial...i visited boots (halfmoon street , cork) , brown thomas , debenhams and and approached each sales person with the same statement : ' i'm looking for the best deal i can get in town for the (insert perfume here) giftset'...

and here are the results! 

boots offered me the girfset for €68 and left me to my decision 

brown thomas €68.70 but also showed me a larger box set with an added handbag sized perfume included for a bit more expense wise , so it didn't tick the blagging box exactly offer the set at €60.23 , but i couldn't ask for any better deal what with the cyberspace division between us 

and then i headed to debenhams.. while i had a squirt of the fragrance, the sales person approached me and showed me the set for €68 and told me that if i signed up for a debenhams card, i would recieve 10 % off and the card would allow me to build up points (like tesco etc..) now the set was going to cost €61.20...seeing me unsure she told me that if i decided to go for it , she would make up a goody bag for me too, including sjp's tote for her new fragrance as well as several perfume testers that is bang for a bit of blag! 

so, depending on the shop , the item you are buying and your ability to ask and expect more from stores, you really can blag a bargain - well worth knowing with christmas coming up...i'm converted! go forth, fellow shoppers, and blag! 



  1. We'll be testing you on your wangling next week :P xx

  2. Hmm, pretty interesting experiment! I've always wondered if asking for discount would be of any use, but as someone who spent many thankless years in retail I can almost guarantee you the response would be 'no'. It actually used to annoy me when people would ask for money off and then get narky when I said no ... like, there's a price tag on it and it has a barcode, there's just nothing I can do about that! I can't just erase the barcode! And if I give you "something free because I'm buying so many things" then the computer system is going to wonder where the item has gone.

    Maybe it works in boutiques where store owners make up prices, but in my experience there's just no point in trying it in big stores or chain stores, everything is logged electronically and there's no getting around the assigned price!

  3. i know, that's always been my experience too...people have been getting cheekier and cheekier so maybe a change in happening! x

  4. Sleep with a person who works in a shoe shop - it works for me! Oh and there definitely needs to be a post on your wangling skills!!

  5. i am generally too mortified to ask for money off/ discounts - it's that oirish fear of confrontation, but having said that - if i am buying direct off someone (mainly over internet) and buying a couple of items, i will gently push a discount...fair is fair right? and it usually works. if you don't ask you don't get.

    and sarah - lucky you. jealous much?


  6. great post, really interesting. seems people are really picking up on this whole new wave of savvier consumerism due to the recession etc.. wasn't there an article in the irish times magazine or sunday times style on something similar this week?

  7. really? didn't get last week's irish times, must check that out! thanks for the feedback, i think the more we expect from retailers the more we'll get..and sarah, great work on the free shoes/boyf front - may we all find men who double as discounters !! x