Today’s reader question:
Is it possible to get discounts on current season snowboard gear at my local store? I heard most shops do locals discounts, is this true?
Firstly, do not go in there asking for a local discount. Having worked both in retail and a snowboard shop in the past, coming in as a random person and asking for a local’s discount is a sure fire way to get a shop worker to immediate hate you.
Local discounts are for actual locals. If you really are a local, you wouldn’t be needing to ask for a local’s discount, if you’re not, you shouldn’t be asking for one anyway.
Okay, now that that’s cleared, let’s continue.
1) Do not whine if they will not match a price you saw on the internet
Physical stores do not have the same margins as internet snowboard shops. They cannot survive by constantly price matching internet giants who will happily offer huge discounts.
You can ask, but they have no obligation to price match or discount their gear. Ideally, the shop should be making up for slightly highly prices by offering better service and support than an online shop anyway.
Whining to sales staff because they won’t price match will guarantee that you won’t get any discount at all.
2) You can negotiate, but don’t be annoying about it
If you’re in the market for several pieces of snowboard gear, you can ask if they’re willing to do a discount if you buy it all at the same time. Good sales staff know that it’s usually better to offer a discount if it means you buy more gear and it makes the total profit of the sale goes up.
The more snowboard gear you buy at one time, the more likely they are to give you a discount if you ask for it.
However, do not feel entitled to a discount and do not badger them over and over for a cheaper price. Being one of those whiny guys who constantly asks “Come on, $20 less?” will make them less likely to want to help you out.
In my previous retail job at a snowboard shop, I would actually avoid giving discounts that I could have given simply because the customer annoyed me by asking for a discount repeatedly. Do not be annoying.
If a staff says they can’t discount something or that it’s the best price they can do, that’s it. Don’t keep asking because not only will it annoy them, but they’ll be less likely to give you a discount the next time you come in, so everyone loses.
3) Be nice.
Want a discount? Be a nice, friendly customer. The nicer you are as a customer, the more open the sales staff at your local store will be to give you a discount.
While being nice and friendly to the snowboard sales staff isn’t guaranteed to get you a discount, being rude, annoying or in any way unpleasant is a sure fire way to not get a discount.
When customers used to ask me for a discount back in the day, I’d look at a few things:
- How much stuff are they buying?
- What’s the profit margin on the stuff they’re buying?
- How much do I like this customer?
The first couple of things aren’t that easy to change, but you sure as heck can change the 3rd option.
Even these days when I help my new Whistler housemates go shopping for their snowboard gear, I’ve seen random discounts been given to them without even being asked for simply because they were nice customers.
In one case, I saw a housemate get both local’s and staff discount on some snowboard gear without asking simply because the sales guy enjoyed talking to him during the sale.
Being nice will greatly increase your chances of being given a discount.
4) Become a repeat shopper
The more you shop at a certain snowboard store, the more likely they’ll start to give you a discount. Build a real relationship with your local snowboard store.
You might not get a discount the first few times you shop at a store, but if the staff start to recognise you and if you were an overall pleasant, chill customer, many sales staff will start giving you a discount on your later visits.
Support your local store first and they might support you back by giving you a discount once they get to know you.
At the end of the day, remember that just being a friendly, repeat customer goes a LONG way to getting you a discount at your local snowboard store.
Never ever be rude, demand a discount or feel entitled to a discount, but just be someone you’d enjoy talking to or serving if you were the sales staff.