The 10% Rule

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Yesterday, I went shopping with a colleague of mine. (Yes, I know I advise against hobby shopping, but if kept under control it can be a great way to bond with your peers.) Everything was lovely, until she found a suit she liked, determined that it fit, and promptly started to bargain with the shop assistant. Wasn’t this button a little loose? The stripes a little off on this arm? The stitching starting to come loose in this particular spot?

I was dumbfounded at first. When the shop assistant went to fetch a manager, I asked my colleague what she was doing. Did she like the suit or not?

She replied that her parents had taught her that just about every shop assistant is authorized to knock 10% off purchase prices in order to make a sale. If you make sure to save this 10% on every purchase you make, by the time you retire, you will have saved more than $200,000.

While I am not sure how pleasant of a money saving trick this would be – to you or to the staff in the stores where you shop – I thought it was creative and worthy of a mentioning. And for major purchases like computers, TVs and cars, it could – depending on the circumstances – most certainly be worth a shot. Hey, if you don’t ask you will never get it.

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