Would you like to save yourself some money? Then let me give you some advice that comes out of my own personal experience – something that I have seen work over and over again. If you will read this Tip carefully and put it into practice, I promise that you will profit financially and emotionally from it sometime in the near future!
Not long ago, I realized that I would soon need a new set of tires for my vehicle. Since I knew there was no serious rush and had seen several ads in the newspaper, I thought I would shop around for the best price. I also wanted to visit some of the larger wholesale chains to see what price they might offer on a new set of tires.
I took the time to write down the exact tire size I needed for my vehicle. This is a very important thing to do when you are shopping at multiple locations because brands may vary from store to store. During the next few weeks, as I saw advertisements or storefront signs saying, “Huge Tire Sale Today!” I would stop and ask what a set of tires would cost. I explained that I was tire shopping and that I was looking for the best price they could offer me. And, since not all brands are the same, I wanted to make certain I was comparing apples with apples, as much as possible.
Perhaps you have seen a sign in front of a store that says, “We will not be undersold!” I did not know exactly what that meant until someone explained it to me. When a store says they will not be undersold, that means they will match or beat any price that you have as long as you can prove to them you have received that price from another store. That is difficult to do if you do not have the quote in writing. Therefore, everywhere I went to shop for tires, I asked if they would mind giving me a printout of the quote they gave me. I also asked them how long they would honor that price. Usually they were good for somewhere from one week to thirty days.
I finally found my best deal at a local tire store. It was unbelievably $200 cheaper than anywhere else I had shopped! I was so surprised that I had to double-check to be certain I was comparing apples to apples. I got my written quote and thanked them for their time. A few days later, when I realized that was by far the best deal I could find, I went back to the store and told them that I was ready to have my tires installed. This time the price they gave me was different. They explained to me that did not include all of the items that I was requesting, like road hazard insurance, rotation, balancing the tires, etc. I simply reached into my pocket and pulled out the paper that indeed showed the quote included everything that I was requesting for the lower price. The store manager’s eyes widened as he looked at the piece of paper and he said, “Well, I guess we will have to honor this, since that is what we told you.” I smiled and thanked him very much.
I was not trying to cheat him out of anything nor was I attempting to do anything unethical or illegal. I was simply operating in good faith on information they had given me a week earlier. In the end, they put the tires on my vehicle and gave me all the “bells and whistles” that I had requested: a life-time warranty, road hazard protection, life-time balancing, and rotating the tires – all included in the price. It was a great deal!
Now, I want to ask you a question. Do you think that if I had gone into that store without a written quote and told them what I wanted that they would have remembered what they previously told me? Of course not! They deal with hundreds of customers every day. It would have simply been my word against theirs. And, in situations like that, you can guess who wins. But, because I had taken the time to get a written quote, all I had to do was produce the information that they themselves had given me.
My father was a big believer in getting things in writing; not so much for legal purposes, but for the purpose of simply being clear. He often told me that a person was only “as good as their word.” And, oftentimes the only way a person can remember their word is if they have something written down.
I hope you will take this Tip to heart and start using it. It is one of the most simple and practical pieces of advice I could give you and it works! Never communicate distrust. Simply say you want to be sure you are being clear to avoid any mix-ups! If you take your time, get things in writing, go out of your way to be clear and helpful to yourself and others, everybody will win and you will save a lot of money in the process!
Tip: Get it in writing!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm