How to Ask for a Discount in English

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Asking for a discount may seem impolite and disgraceful to many people. However, I think before spending money on anything, especially while buying expensive products, you should ask for a deal that may benefit you. There is no shame in saving your money by asking for a discount.

If you think the same way, this post is for you. Here I’ll share some exclusive ways of asking for a discount in English without sounding impolite.

As a general rule, while asking for a discount, you are expected to be polite, rational, and indirect. Your choice of words & tone must be so persuasive that the person you ask for a discount from agrees to the deal. You can ask for a discount by saying, “May I expect a discount on this?” or “Do you have any promotion right now?”

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Negotiation is one of the excellent skills we need in our professional and personal lives. When you ask for a discount, you negotiate with someone about the price. While negotiating, how you express your thoughts behind the deal is crucial.

Here I present some very effective expressions that you can use to ask for a discount.

List of Expressions to Ask for a Discount in English

  • May I expect a discount on this oven?
  • Do you have any promotions going on?
  • Is there any discount?
  • Can I get a discount?
  • Is it the best deal you can do for me?
  • Is this the best price you can offer me today?
  • Is it possible to get a discount?
  • Do you have any promotions right now?
  • May I get a discount if I pay you in cash?
  • Is there any scope to reduce the price?
  • What reduced price could you offer me?
  • Are you open to offers for these products?
  • Is there any chance that you could knock something off this?
  • Can we make a deal on this?
  • Would you please reduce the price?
  • Would you be able to reconsider the price?
  • Is there any scope to negotiate the price?
  • What is your best price on this fridge?
  • Can you do any better than that?
  • Is that the very best you can do?
  • What is the best you can do if I pre-book this right now?
  • Is there any chance that you could knock the price down a bit?
  • Can you lower the price?
  • Would you please make a reasonable offer for me?
  • Do you have any flexibility on the price?
  • Can you work on the price for me?
  • Can you offer me a discount?
  • What would be a reasonable discount?
  • Can you make it [the price] lower?
  • How about $350? The price you are asking for is out of my budget.

I hope the above expression can help you ask for a discount. Now, let me give you some tips that can help you use those expressions effectively.

Be Polite While You Ask for a Discount

Ask for a Discount
Be Polite While You Ask for a Discount

Politeness is the key to any good conversation regardless of context: formal, informal social, professional, personal, etc. While you ask for a discount, your politeness can earn you a reasonable discount. Your voice tone, word choice, and body language are the key elements to ensure a polite request for a discount.

Use a polite tone while asking for a discount. It’ll help you to get the attention of the person you are asking a favor from. If you are courteous enough in your tone, people will listen to you and be responsive to your offers and requests.

You should use polite and formal words while asking for a discount. When in public places (super shops, markets, etc.), you should consider the setting formal and act accordingly. You should make polite requests to avail of any discount from the seller.

Besides word choice and tone, body language also plays a crucial role in an effective conversation. Appropriate body language can help you create a polite impression on the people you talk to. Therefore, when you ask for a discount from someone, your proper body language can help convince them.

Be Rational While Asking for a Discount

Ask for a Discount
Be Rational While Asking for a Discount

If you want to win a discount from someone, you must talk to them with proper logic. Suppose you are at a super shop to buy groceries where a signboard clearly shows that they sell everything on a fixed price basis. You should not ask for any discount since they never change their price. You have to think logically.

You should not ask for a Christmas discount in February. This is too awkward and illogical.

You must research the rates of the products you want to buy at a discounted price. If the current market rate of something is $100 and many sellers give a 10% discount, you cannot expect a 50% discount on any of them. You can ask for 15-20% at maximum but of course, not more than that. You have to be rational while asking for a reduced price.   

Be Persuasive While Asking for a Discount

Ask for a Discount
Be Persuasive While Asking for a Discount

You must maintain a persuasive tone and expression while asking for anything from anyone. We know that convincing someone is a challenging job. Unless you apply an appropriate strategy while asking for a discount, you may fail to get any.

To convince a seller to get a discount, you may start the conversation with a compliment about the quality of their products and services. You can check another post titled How to Compliment Someone in English to learn different expressions of complimenting someone.

You can appreciate the way they deal with the customers. You can also remind them about the long-term relationship as a customer with them.

You can also point out some logical agreements to convince the seller to give you a discount. Also, give different offers from your side while asking for a discount. Let’s see some examples.

    • This is a small watermelon compared to the others. May I get a reduced price for that?

    • This shirt has a small spot here? Do you have any offer on that?

    • Is there any discount if I pay in cash?

    • Is there any offer if I pre-book this bike by paying 50% of the amount as an advance?

    • May I have it delivered for free?

    • May I request a free installation of the guiser?

Besides those above expressions, you can also try to learn some other techniques that can help you negotiate. I suggest reading the book titled You Can Negotiate Anything: How to Get What You Want to have some guided instructions.

A Sample Conversation on Asking for a Discount

The following is a conversation between a salesperson and a customer in which the customer asks for a discount on a list of products.

Salesperson: Good afternoon, Mam! How may I help you?

Customer: Good afternoon! Can I see those wooly scarves, please? 

Salesperson: Sure… Here they are. 

Customer: Mmm… This velvet one looks nice and cozy. How much for this?  

Salesperson: These scarves sell for $20 apiece. 

Customer: How about $30 for two? I want one for my sister too. Could you get me a deal on this? 

Salesperson: Actually, these fresh pieces have just come in — it’s too early for a discount.  

Customer: I get it. But you see, I love these scarves, and I’m short on budget at this moment. Is there any chance of reducing the price, at least?  

Salesperson: Let me see. Is that all you want to buy?

Customer: Yep, just these two for now.  

Salesperson: Okay, then. I’ll get you a deal. It is $35 for two. And it’s only because you’re the first customer to buy from this lot. 

Customer: Mmm… it’s still a bit higher. Anyway, I’ll take that offer. At least I’m gifting my sister something beautiful on her birthday.  

Salesperson: I’m glad to help you with that, ma’am. Shall I pack them off? 

Customer: Absolutely!

Takeaway Vocabulary

Cozy (adjective): something that gives you comfort or makes you warm

Apiece (adverb): indicating each piece or unit within a group or set

Reduce (verb): to lower something in amount, degree, or level, such as price, temperature, etc.

In Conclusion

No one wants to waste their hard-earned money. Thus, asking for a discount when possible can help you save your money for future uses. And even on many occasions, the sellers being in a hurry may fail to let you know about the current offers, promotions, or deals. In that case, asking for a discount may remind the seller and give you a reasonable discount.

I believe the examples of expressions and tips I mentioned above will help you ask for a discount.

Thanks for reading.

Happy learning!

10 Frequently Asked Questions Related to Asking for a Discount in English

1. Why is it essential to be polite when asking for a discount in English?

Being polite increases the chances of a positive response and maintains a good relationship with the seller or service provider.

2. What are common phrases to use when inquiring about discounts?

Some typical phrases include “Is there any discount on this?”, “Can you offer a better price?”, or “Do you have any ongoing promotions?”

3. Is it appropriate to ask for a discount in any setting?

While it’s common in some retail or market settings, in high-end stores or fixed-price establishments, it might be less acceptable. Always gauge the situation.

4. How can I ensure my request doesn’t come off as demanding?

Using softer language, expressing genuine interest in the product or service, and understanding the seller’s perspective can help.

5. Are there specific times when asking for a discount is more effective?

End-of-season sales, holiday promotions, or when a product is about to be phased out can be opportune times.

6. Can I mention for a discount?

Yes, pointing out minor defects, damages, or issues can be a valid reason to request a discount. However, it’s essential to approach the topic respectfully and not use it as a tactic to devalue the item unfairly.

7. Is it okay to negotiate after a discount has already been given?

While some cultures and settings appreciate the art of negotiation, be mindful not to push too hard. If a generous discount has already been provided, it might be best to accept graciously.

8. How can I prepare for a negotiation or asking for a discount?

Researching standard prices, being aware of ongoing sales, and having a clear budget in mind can help. It’s also beneficial to have a genuine willingness to purchase the item or walk away based on the outcome.

9. What should I do if my request for a discount is declined?

Thank the seller for considering your request, and decide whether you’d like to proceed with the purchase at the stated price. It’s essential to remain courteous regardless of the outcome.

10. Can loyalty or frequent purchases be used as a reason for discounts?

Absolutely. Many businesses value loyal customers and might offer discounts or loyalty programs to retain them. If you’re a regular customer, mentioning your continued patronage can sometimes work in your favor.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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