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5 Items in Your Garage with High Resale Value

Before anything hits the trash though, take a step back: there are probably a number of items you have stowed away that could earn you some impressive cash. Check out the ideas below, and feel free to share your tips of the trade in the comments. 


A brand new generator might set you back between $200 and $2,000 from my latest survey of prices at a popular home improvement chain. My dad has a portable generator he bought when my parents lived way out in the country. Now that they've moved to a more central location, it gets little use and he wants to sell it. Sound familiar? Consider the value. I searched "used portable generator" on eBay and discovered around 75 hits with prices ranging from $50 to $2,400 for items in good condition.

Other big ticket sellers might include snow blowers, ride-on mowers, and even motorcycles or cars. The trick is assessing a fair value and finding the right place to sell. Kelley Blue Book is always the first place to check with vehicles. For the rest, try looking at similar listings in your local paper, Craigslist, eBay, or even on donation valuation charts (as a loose guide). When we bought our house last year, the couple who lived here planned to downsize. They sold their snow blower in two days for $350 by simply placing it outside the garage with a cardboard sign.


We have a whole shelving unit full of camping stuff in our garage. There's anything and everything from lanterns to tents to portable cooking devices to cots and much more. Other frugally minded outdoorsy folks would surely appreciate the care we've taken to keep our gear in working order, so we might try to sell a few things this year. In fact, we bought our large family tent used for a couple hundred dollars — so we know the system works.

If this arena interests you, try sites like GearTrade, where you can buy and sell camping wares or just get insight on appropriate pricing if you'd rather sell yourself. Some items in "excellent" condition attract up to 99% of their original value. There are also a couple area camping groups on Facebook I might contact about larger things to avoid shipping.


Let's face it, most of us aren't super handy. But that doesn't stop the hand tools from streaming in as gifts from well-meaning friends and family. Rather than hold onto a tool waiting to be inspired, try selling it. Take this Bosch 18-Volt Hammer Drill, for example. It retails at $219, and a few days ago I found a used one on eBay for $150. This number accords with the $131 average price for used hammer drills listed on Statricks. And it would make a solid return (a little over 55%) on something you might not have touched in over a year.

Keep in mind that certain brands of tools resell better than others, including DeWalt, Bosch, Ridgid, Makita, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Porter-Cable, Skil, and Delta. In other words, that entry-level saw you got a great deal on new might not seem as appealing on the used market. Along with quality, your buyers will be inspecting these tools for wear and tear, so check for any crimped cords or other issues and price accordingly.


Most of us have bought and sold on Craigslist, but have you heard aboutDiggersList? Those of you into DIY and home improvement might want to take a look. You can sell your surplus building supplies (or find some to purchase) and get a good portion off the original price. Anything back is better than waste, right?

You can sell your doors, pavers, flooring, wall tile, appliances, circuit breakers, and much more. If you'd rather not list online, try taking out an ad in the classifieds or contacting a local carpentry club. Then consider donating anything you don't sell to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.


Children outgrow their playhouses and other outdoor toys quickly, so they clutter garages like crazy. Not only can you earn back a good portion of what you paid (depending on the condition) — but the used toy market for items like these is refreshing with each generation of kids born into the world. Before having a yard sale, try local Facebook groups, Craigslist, and even re-sale stores like Once Upon a Child.

Keep yourself safe on the road with these 7 car prep tips!


Your vehicle's battery loses 33% of its power when the temperature dips below freezing and as much as 60% of its juice when the mercury falls below zero. So it's wise to give the battery and its charger a once-over to ensure they're performing optimally. A quick trip to your local car technician will quickly reveal whether the battery is winter-ready, or corroded and otherwise not performing well.


Windshield wipers are crucial to a clear view from the driver's seat — but a nasty winter storm makes their job many times harder. That's why you should consider investing in a pair of winter blades, which are built to withstand precipitation and freezing cold. Most winter blades are encased in a protective rubber shell that prevents ice and snow from hardening on the wiper. The going rate for a pair ranges from less than $20 to about $40, depending on size and quality.

While you're attending to windshield issues, car safety experts also suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing antifreeze.


You're driving down the road when your tires hit a patch of ice that sends you sliding into a snow bank. It's a gentle spinout that causes no injury or damage, but now your front tires are sunk in a heap of fresh snow. You're not going anywhere for awhile — unless you packed a shovel and have the muscle to dig yourself out. The shovel needn't be a humdinger, just something sturdy that fits in the trunk.


For every 10 degree change in temperature, car tires lose a pound of pressure. That's why it's wise to make sure the pressure in all four tires is in check at the outset of the winter season. In cold weather, any pressure imbalance will be made that much worse.


Car tires in any season need a tread depth of at least 6/32-inch to get adequate traction, according to Tire Rack. If yours fall short, you're going to need to go tire shopping. Wintry road conditions necessitate even more depth than normal to help the tire grooves compress and release snow as they roll. Without sufficient tread depth, spinouts are more likely.

Should you opt for new winter tires, be sure to get a full set. Mounting winter tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive car can prompt sliding while putting winter tires only on the back of a rear-drive car will make turns more difficult.


Cold weather thickens the engine oil, which forces the car battery to work double time to get your car running smoothly. But you can give your battery a break and prevent potential engine trouble by switching over to a thinner oil. Most vehicles are served well by a 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30 oil formula, but be sure to check your owners manual for notes on compatibility. It's also wise to have the oil filter changed to maintain fluidity.


Should you get stranded on the side of a highway during a temper tantrum by Jack Frost, you'll be much less likely to run the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, or plain old cold weather discomfort if you've got a warm blanket stowed away in the trunk. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to add a set of hand warmers, gloves, a wooly hat, a flashlight, bottled water, and a non-perishable snack to your winter weather emergency survival kit. Here's hoping you never have to use it.



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7 Things You Should Always Order on Amazon

Here are 10 items you should always be ordering on Amazon:


Depending on the size and breed of animal you own, buying pet food  can be costly, or downright extortionate. If you own a large-breed dog, you're also faced with carrying a huge amount of food from the store every time you need to stock up. Let Amazon take care of that for you. Whether it's dry or canned food, Amazon has thousands of options. Prime shipping covers most of them, the prices are slashed on many items, and you can also choose Subscribe & Save for additional 5%–10% discounts.


Running out of those dishwasher tablets  is a real pain, and when you go to the grocery store you pay top dollar for them. Amazon has a great range, and offers them with either free Prime shipping, Prime Pantry, or Subscribe & Save. 


You will find great deals on name-brand diapers , especially if you use Amazon Prime or Prime Pantry. And once again, as this is the kind of item you will be using every month, look for Subscribe & Save options for additional discounts and free shipping. You can get an additional 20% off for signing up for the S&S service. For example, Pampers Cruisers Size 6 Giant Pack runs $41.22 list price. Amazon Prime price drops it to $35.10, and if you use Subscribe & Save, it drops further to $28.08. That's over $13 off the original price, with free shipping! And make sure you look into Amazon Mom for your savings.


There's no denying that coffee pods, in particular the K-cups , are incredibly popular these days. However, they can be expensive, especially if you buy them in small batches of 10–18 per box. Skip that, and get the bigger boxes from Amazon. With the free shipping options available to you, you can get a much better deal by buying in bulk. And of course, this is another great Subscribe & Save purchase, with further discounts making 80-count boxes come in well under $30.


Most of us buy toilet paper  in packs of at least 6 to 12. Even then, they take up a lot of room in the grocery cart (and your trunk). Instead, buy more of it less often on Amazon, and get it delivered for free. Right now, you can get a pack of 48 double rolls of either Quilted Northern or Angel Soft for under $23 using the Subscribe & Save feature. Figure out how long it will last you, and opt for a free delivery interval that will ensure you never run out again.


If you use vitamins  regularly, Amazon will save you a lot of money. There is a massive variety (over 113,000 items come up on an initial search) and you have Prime, Prime Pantry, and Subscribe & Save options available. If you opt for the Prime Pantry, split the small $5.99 shipping fee with a few friends and order all of your vitamins together in bulk. Just make sure you know you can use them before they expire.


Amazon is the perfect place to go for your regular supply of cat litter . You can find deals in Subscribe & Save, Prime, or Prime Pantry, with some litter coming in at just over $4 for a 20lb bag! (In that instance, that's around 20 cents per pound, delivered to your doorstep for under $6 shipping.) 



16 Popular Stores That Price Match

Over time, I've discovered a few tips and tricks that get us the best price matching and adjustments at a number of popular retailers.


If you find a lower price on something you bought within seven days of purchase, you can take advantage of Target's price-matching policy. Just bring your receipt to guest services and proof of lower price (from places like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy) via website or printed ad. Price adjustments may also be made before you buy. Note: Any purchases made online are exempt from Target's price-matching policy.


I've searched Walmart's website for pricing and headed to the store only to find the item more expensive on the shelf. In this event, you canrequest a price match in most U.S. states at the register. For other adjustments, bring proof of price to customer service and make sure the item is identical and in stock at the competing store. Walmart also offers its Savings Catcher to compare your receipt with local competitor pricing. If there's an opportunity for you to save, you'll get the difference back on an eGift Card.


Price adjustment requests can be made within 14 days at Macy's storesnationwide. Money is refunded to your original form of payment, whether cash, debit, or credit. Price changes are only made if the original purchase was made without a coupon, and you must take your item(s) back to the store for the adjustment.


Good news! If you find an item you just bought for less at a competitor's store, Nordstrom will meet that price provided it's the same color and size. Alternatively, if the same item you bought goes on sale at a Nordstrom store within 14 days of your purchase, you can easily get the extra taken off your order by bringing your receipt to customer service.


Keep your receipt to get a one-time price adjustment within 14 days of your purchase. Any items you bought using coupons, promotions, or other discounts (clearance, final sale, etc.) are not eligible for changes unless the promotion was free shipping. In addition, price adjustments for items sold online cannot be made in physical store locations.

6. J. CREW

Think fast, because J. Crew gives you just seven days from purchase to take advantage of its one-time price adjustments. Items must have been bought at their original prices (no clearance or final sale) and you'll need your receipt. The same policy stands with J. Crew's Factory outlets.


My husband and I recently bought a new refrigerator at Lowe's. I noticed it was $3 less at a local competitor, so I asked about the 10% Price Match Guarantee, and we ended up saving an additional $3 plus $120 on our purchase. The store gives customers a full 30 days to compare prices at local stores and websites — impressive. Just keep your receipt and bring proof of better pricing to customer service.


Not to be outdone, Home Depot offers similar 10% in-store price matching. This policy, as it goes with many retailers, does not extend to "discontinued, clearance, obsolete, seasonal, or distressed merchandise" at competing stores. Online purchases earn the matching only, minus the additional percentage back.


For adjustments at Office Depot, just make sure the item you're requesting a change on is both new and identical at the store across town (or online). You can ask for price matching before purchase or within 14 days of receipt. The store will even match Amazon and Reliable, though third-party retailers are excluded from this policy.


Likewise, you can request price adjustments at the time of sale or within 14 days of purchase at Staples stores. This policy excludes any local special events, like grand openings, anniversary sales, and liquidations. In the case of items with free versus paid shipping, Staples will match if both are on the same terms. However, if the store offers free shipping and the competitor's lower priced item does not, shipping charges will apply to the overall matching equation.


I bought my daughter a camera at Toys "R" Us earlier this year and was able to get it for the lower Amazon price by asking at customer service. The store's Price Match Guarantee is simple and straightforward. It's valid on in-store purchases only, limited to two items (if you're purchasing several identical toys), and the store's online prices are matched provided they aren't special "online only" promotions. Exclusions include Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals; clearance, closeouts, and flash sales; as well as any pricing that is low due to typographical errors.


Any pricing that's lower at direct competitors or online retailers like Amazon will be honored at Bed Bath & Beyond stores. This excludes club stores like Sam's Club, BJ's, etc., in addition to pricing that's low due to clearance, closeouts, or limited time quantities. Better yet, a manufacturer's coupon can be used in combination with the price match for even more savings.

13. KOHL'S

To get an adjustment, keep your receipt for two weeks after buying anything (original price or sale) from Kohl's to see if the price is lowered. Items bought on Buy One, Get One (BOGO) are excluded from this offer. Kohl's also matches competitor pricing provided you provide a dated ad — in-store only — with identical merchandise.


Electronics behemoth Best Buy "won't be beat on price" — so you know you can get a good deal. At the time of sale, the store will match local store and online pricing in addition to online retailers like Amazon, B&H Photo Video, Crutchfield, Dell, HP, Newegg, and TigerDirect. Preordered or backordered an item? If its price drops, you will automatically get the lower price. You can also request price adjustments within 15 days of purchase with receipt.


I actually live in the town where Dick's Sporting Goods first opened its doors in the late 1940s. Their Winning Price Guarantee applies to identical items sold at local retail stores. Simply bring in the print or online ad to get the match at the time of sale. Exclusions to this policy include rebates, coupons, clearance, closeouts, BOGOs, and out-of-stock items.


I had no idea that Amazon offers price-matching. But there's a catch; it's only on televisions and cell phones. All other items on this giant online store are exempt from the policy. Though there's no information about formal price adjustments on the site, I've found several personal accounts for how to get a deal. The process involves signing into your Amazon account, clicking the help button, and then chatting with a representative about the change in price you've seen to get your refund. The blogger in the above scenario has only tried this approach within a week of purchase.

In the end, I've learned that no matter what or where you're buying, it never hurts to ask about a retailer's price matching or adjustment policy. The worst answer you can get is "no," and usually you'll be pleasantly surprised by the extra dollars you'll have left in your pocket. Every little bit counts!



22 Easy Ways to Save on Travel

Planning a trip? Don't miss these 22 easy ways to save on travel.

27 Free Money-Saving Apps

Click here to download these FREE apps, which will help you save money!

Good Grades? Freebies for Your Child

Chuck E. Cheese - Receive free tokens for being a good student. Choose from the Super Student Award or Graduation Certificate.

Krispy Kreme - Get a free original glazed donut for each A (up to 6 A’s).

Chick-fil-A – Bring in your all A’s and B’s report card and receive a free 8 pack nuggets.  (This varies greatly by individual franchises.)

Pizza Hut – Each grading period period, any child who has 3 A’s or the equivalent will receive one Personal Pan Pizza and a small soft drink or carton of milk by presenting his or her report card to the manager. This offer is good for Elementary and Middle School students. Dine-in only. Student must be present and the original report card must be presented. Available at participating locations.

McDonalds – If your child has a straight “A” report card, he/she can receive a FREE Happy Meal. This may vary by location so call ahead first!

Family Video – Throughout the month of June, Family Video gives a FREE overnight movie or game rental to
students for every ‘A’ they receive on their final report card in any core subjects designed to ensure that we are an active, participating member of the community in which our store is located.

Cheryl’s Cookies – Get up to 3 FREE Cookies for A’s.

Cold Stone Creamery – Not on a national level, but the stores are individual owned & operated so the best thing to do would be to ask your local store as some have offered them in the past.

Bank Rewards – Check with your local banks and credit unions as many of them offer money rewards for good grades as well.


11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate Prices

Several major retail stores will actually take part in price negotiations, and will usually give you a better deal than the one you were expecting. You just have to know how to play the game. And it goes without saying — be polite and courteous the whole time. Demanding a discount won't get you anywhere.


Let's start with the one most people have asked me about. "Can you really haggle at Best Buy?" Yes, you absolutely can, although the results will vary from store to store.

First, you want to go shopping towards the end of the month, between the 29th and the 31st. Like most retail stores, Best Buy gives its floor managers sales goals, and they really want to hit them. By going in when they are down to the wire, you have more haggling power.

Next, follow a few simple rules and you will get the bargain you want.

  • You will get better discounts on high-end items. A huge $2500 TV or home theater system has a serious markup, and therefore, more wiggle room. If you go big, start negotiating.
  • Ask for freebies to be thrown in. If you're buying a computer, ask for a pack of blank DVDs. If you get a laptop, ask for a free bag or wireless mouse.
  • Focus on floor models and open box items. I've had great success buying floor models at massive discounts. The great thing is, you can buy the Geek Squad protection on it, and they'll replace it for a brand new item if they're unable to repair it. Open-box items are also easy to haggle on, and 20%-25% off is fair. And if the packaging on a new item is damaged, ask for a discount. They will often give you 10% off.
  • Bundle and save. Buying a monitor and a keyboard? Ask for a discount on both. The same goes for a TV and Blu-ray player, or a bunch of DVDs. If you are buying multiples, the store manager has some discretion to give you a deal.
  • Remember price matching. If you see a lower price anywhere, Best Buy will match it. So before you buy, search for the item on your smartphone and find the lowest price online or locally. Then watch the salesperson crumble.


The top two big box DIY stores both have very similar policies when it comes to negotiating, and the following guidelines apply.

  • Scratches, dents, and dings give you great haggling power. On big appliances, most customers want their new items to be pristine. They cost a lot of money, they should be perfect. But who cares about minor dings? After a few months in the house with kids and pets, those dings will soon appear anyway. Seek out scratched and dented items when you want a new appliance, and start haggling. It's damaged goods, and the managers have wiggle room. Even torn packaging can get you a discount.
  • Get deals on poor quality lumber, roll ends, and off cuts. If you're building a fence and don't mind a few imperfect pickets or posts, grab them from the rack. Then, talk to a store manager and ask for a discount. You should easily get one, since the lumber they can't sell gets junked, anyway. You can also get great deals on roll-ends for carpet and linoleum, as well as off-cut wood and other materials.
  • Floor models are also great starting points for negotiations. These days, you can get all of your major appliances from the hardware store, and they all have floor models that have been poked, prodded, and generally used and abused by potential customers. However, they work just fine, most of them have never even been plugged in. Ask for a floor model, at a 10%-15% discount. If they are not ready to sell the floor models yet, ask when they are. You may even be able to put one on hold, if you are particularly charming.
  • Take advantage of stocking errors. This doesn't always work, but if you see something you want and the price looks too good to be true, it could be a product that has been placed in the wrong section. If it's a one off, forget it. But if the whole rack is marked at $10, instead of $20, then it is a legitimate angle for a discount. They priced it incorrectly, it's their mistake, and their loss. This happens a lot at hardware stores, especially in some of the aisles with very similar products at vastly different prices.
  • Price match. This is always a good option. Now, Home Depot and Lowes seem to be a little tougher on this than other stores, and will require evidence of a product in stock locally for a lower price. Online price matching will be way more difficult to achieve.


Wherever you do your bulk buying, there are some strategies you can employ that can help you get better prices. Remember, just because you're already getting a discount, it doesn't mean the prices cannot go lower. Your membership fees and the bulk buying formula are the reason the prices are low. The stores are getting this stuff cheap, they make great profits, and you can negotiate.

  • Know the store layouts. Clark Howard, a consumer expert, says that the best deals in both of these stores are on aisles five, six, and seven. Knowing this in advance, you can head over to these areas and talk to the manager about buying a lot of these goods for a discount.
  • Look for items going off that day. Whether it's fruit, meat, bread, cakes, or vegetables, the manager will be very pliable towards the end of the day. They'd rather get a sale from you than throw it all in the dumpster.
  • Check the prices. For instance, any items ending in .97 at Costco are either discounted or on clearance, even if they don't advertise it. That means the store wants them gone, and gone quickly. Knowing this can really help you when it comes time to ask for a few bucks extra off.
  • Tires should never be bought at sticker price. The warehouse stores rely on you thinking that they will have the cheapest prices around. This is a complete fallacy. With your smartphone at hand, bring up the prices of the same tires at places like Discount Tire or Tire Rack.


There are big retail chains, and there are local mom-n'-pop businesses. However, they both have one thing in common: They are willing to negotiate on certain items, especially as the markup on furniture is so high. How high, you ask? Try 80%. A lot of the stock is bought overseas, shipped in, and marked up to ridiculous amounts. Here are some negotiation strategies you can use.

  • First, head to the back of the stores, or the clearance sections. You will find some products marked "as is" or "last one." Well, this is a great place to start haggling. They have discounted the stock because they want it gone, and if you are ready to take it off their hands on that day, you'll be doing them a favor. Don't get greedy, it's already cheap, but drop the price another 20%. If you can, offering cash also helps.
  • They know many of their products are not as high-quality as they make out. So, start looking over the pieces like they're used cars. Inspect the joints, the finish, point out the flaws. As you make your case for the poor craftsmanship, you are laying the groundwork for a discount.
  • Buy more, get more of a discount. If you plan on remodeling the bedrooms, see if you can afford to buy everything at one time. If you're dropping a lot of money, the furniture store may work with you.


You might think that the country's two largest retailers wouldn't let you haggle. Well, this isn't the case. There are times you can haggle, if you know what you're doing.

  • Like other stores on this list, Walmart and Target will let you haggle on items that are damaged or dinged. On damaged items, you can get a13% discount at Target. I checked into this, and it's a standard figure that is often offered, especially if you received a damaged item from So, if you are okay with the amount of damage the item has, ask for the discount. They will often apply it right there.
  • Food is very easy to negotiate on. Just like in the warehouse stores, Walmart and Target managers know that food that has reached its best-before-date is not going to be easy to sell. That's why you'll often see those "manager's special" stickers on meat and seafood. Well, just go and talk to a manager and ask for a discount on the food. They will usually apply a savings sticker right there. It can be anywhere from $3 off, to half price. If it's in questionable shape, or the packaging is beaten up, you can often get it for 75% off.
  • Discontinued items are another great way to save money. You can find out about them from websites, and armed with that knowledge you can ask for big discounts. You will also see them in bargain bins. The store wants them gone; they will negotiate.


You've seen Rick on Pawn Stars, so you know the score here. This is one of the few kinds of stores that actively encourages haggling, due to the nature of their "buy low and sell high" model. They want to engage you in negotiations, but this of course works both ways. You can get a deal, if you know how to approach them:

  • Learn the pawn store discount codes, such as the codes from Pawn America. Once you know the secret, you are instantly given a way to know how much the item can be discounted. Other pawn stores may have similar codes, so do your homework.
  • If you're selling, make sure you know as much as you can about your item. And then, make sure you make the first offer, knowing that it will be countered by a much lower offer. One of the first rules of negotiation is that the person who sets the price controls the bidding.
  • Don't over-negotiate. The pawn store owner is running a business, and has to make a profit from the items he or she buys. Yes, they are ready to haggle, but if you offer them half of what the item is worth, they'll laugh you out of the store. When they say "final offer," they mean it.


As someone who goes to thrift stores often, haggling is a great skill to have. Every thrift store is different, but having worked behind the scenes at Goodwill, I can tell you that the pricing is very loose. Some items are marked too low, and others too high. With that in mind...

  • Look at the color-coded tags. If a color is on sale that week, it means it has been sitting on the shelf for a long time. Thrift stores have a high turnover, and want to make room for new merchandise constantly. These items are ready to go to something called salvage, and that means you have the ability to haggle the price.
  • Look carefully at the condition. Is it scratched, dented, or chipped? Does it work correctly? Did you find snags or holes that the pricer may have missed? Simply by pointing those things out, you can get a manager to knock a few bucks off the price.
  • Use your smartphone to bring up the going rate of the item you want. If they have overpriced it, they'll usually bring it down to the price you show them. After all, they get all of their items for free, so it's all profit for the charity.
  • Ask for discounts on bulk purchases. I recently bought a set of four plates the same price that three would have cost me, simply because I asked for a discount if I took them all.


Despite what you may think, Nordstrom's, Macy's, Kohl's, and Dillard's are definitely open to haggling. Managers are open to a little negotiation, and are even authorized to go 10% below a competitor's price. Here's what you need to do to make sure you are in the discount zone.

  • Price matching is key. If you find a blouse or a pair of shoes cheaper in another store, bring it up on your smartphone. They want your business, and they have numbers to hit. The price is not going to be much lower anyway, and they'd rather have less profit than no sale.
  • Sales happen all the time. Ask if the item you're looking for was recently on sale, or if it is coming on sale again soon. The store manager will often give you last week's sale price. You can also come back to a store when the item you bought at full price is now on sale, and ask for the difference as a refund. They will usually honor this.
  • Once again, scuffs, scratches, and dents are great haggling points.
  • Use something called "sticker shock." That means you're very interested in the item until the clerk reveals the price. If you are really taken aback, they will look into discounts for you. Sometimes, those discounts can be significant, especially on jewelry and watches.
  • Ask for extras to be thrown in for free. If you buy a suit, ask for a shirt and tie.
  • The golden rule with department stores — ask for the manager. They have the authority to offer bigger discounts, and if you are very polite, they often like to show how powerful they are by giving you a big fat discount.