We can create our own discounts with a simple question. That's the strategy behind a new shopping guide called ShopSmart;) from Consumer Reports.
The Fall 2006 issue includes a feature called:
"6 Questions to Ask When You're Cruising for A Discount."
(I've paraphrased the recommended questions)
1. Do you know if this item will be discounted soon?
2. Can you meet or beat this deal? (Flash an ad from a competitor or a printout from an online retailer)
3. Is it cheaper by the dozen? (Seeking a "volume discount.")
4. Are there any freebies or extra perks with this purchase?
5. Is this coupon okay? Some retailers will take expired coupons or even promotions from other stores.
6. Is there a cash payment discount? Cash is king. Contractors, service providers and even some small stores will give you a discount for the greenbacks.