How to Save Money and Con the Salesperson Part 1

Do you love to save money? I know I hate giving my money away. Sometimes we scrimp and save and cut to hold on to every last penny each day, but then blow it on a major purchase like buying a car or piano or washer/drier which ends up costing us hundreds if not thousands which destroys all that hard work we did over the years saving every penny.

My wife and I have a tactic that we want to share with you that we used on buying a car and buying a piano. We’ll start with the piano since we just picked that up a month ago.

The Background Story

When my grandma died she had in her will that every single grandchild would received $3,000 to buy a piano. She loved music and had a large organ in her house and also a grand piano that was once in the White House. She was very wealthy, she owned one of the last open properties in downtown Los Angeles. She also had money from businesses from my grandpa.

I never wanted to spend $3,000 on a piano because that is a lot of money and they don’t need to cost that much (however some cost over $40,000!), but I also don’t want to go against my grandma’s wishes. I think she would be happy that I would get a piano, new or used, and save money since she had an affinity for money as well and loved to invest in stocks, real estate and gold.

I’ve actually had the money sitting for 8 years and haven’t used it because as a single guy I didn’t want to buy a piano to move around place to place with my jobs and when I got married we still didn’t want to buy a piano because my sassy wife has the same financial views I do. So we’ve made some money on that $3,000 over the years so we actually had around $4,600.

Maybe It is Time to Buy

My wife received a flier in the mail a few months ago from the local school district that they were clearing out pianos and that if you came and bought one it would be a tax write-off. We had looked on and off, but never made the jump. Our youngest daughter is now old enough to take lessons so we thought we would go take a look, plus the tax write-off sounded nice as well.

We didn’t just show up to the piano sale unprepared…no way. We had our con in place that we used to buy a car and let me tell you it is brilliant and you are allowed to use it as well. Plus it is tons of fun…just don’t laugh during or after you get the deal.

Don’t Take the First Offer…Ever!

Whenever we buy something where we can negotiate we go in with a strategy. We did it with our first car (which we will get to in the next article) and we perfected it with our piano. 

One of the things I do in my job is buy media advertising: TV, radio, online…etc. I used to be in the media business so I know a good rate and I know when I’m being screwed over. Never say yes right away! The first offer is almost always high (not almost, it always is.)

I will show some interest, but be hesitant. It is critical to sales people to hit goals and make a sale. I have limited funds and I know they will negotiate like crazy. I have three phrases I like to use:


“Is that the best you can do?”

“Let me think about it.”

Then I don’t contact them for a while and actually usually let them come back to me and almost always a better price or something else is thrown in.

The Piano Con

There is no difference buying advertising than buying a piano or other large item except we do the latter in person and not over the phone and e-mail. With the piano con I played the part of grumpy husband; my wife took the part of anxious and excited wife who wanted it badly. We talked our plan over at home and we were excited to play the game of sales. There is always wiggle room so NEVER pay full price.

We went to the local high school and of course they take you through the grand pianos that cost more than most new luxury cars. We went all the way to the end of the pianos in to the price range we were looking with some new and used stuff and I wanted a digital which is lighter to move around and never has to be re-tuned. 

My wife found one she liked and it was already a pretty good deal and the tax write off made it really good. We could more than afford it with grandma’s money, but I didn’t want to spend a lot or even half of what she gave us.

And the Emmy Goes to:

My wife sat down at the piano and just nailed her part. She played it and said “it sounds so good, I like the feel.” She even had my 5-year-old daughter on her lap and pounded the keys. I could tell the sales guy was getting excited so it was my turn to play the part so I walked in and grabbed the price tag and shook my head.

My wife said she wanted it and I said it’s too much and I started to walk off to cheaper pianos that looked like they fell out of the piano truck while going 85 on the freeway (Did you know the speed limit in Utah is 85? It’s awesome). My wife followed and grabbed my arm to talk, and we had a private conversation (with-in view of the salesman) where I shook my head no and she initially appeared to make an argument and then nodded to agree with me.

Oh Crap, I’m Losing the Sale

The sales guy panicked at that point.

“I can knock off $300 if that will make the deal,” he told us. 

“Let me check my phone to see if we can get a better price online,” I said. “I need to do the math.”

My face appeared agonized and I checked my twitter feed instead of doing math. After all I just started Healthy Wealthy Income and wanted to see the latest tweets in the PF world.

“Yeah I don’t think that is going to work,” I said.

“Hold on, I’ll be right back,” he said.

The sales guy ran out in to the gymnasium where several other sales people were at. We hung out for about 2 minutes and then he came back

“I checked with my boss and can go down another $500, but no more.”


I wanted to yell it out and say “Ha, I got you!” but the guy is doing his job, so I just had to hold my excitement in until we left and got in the car. It was so unbelievably satisfying.

What is Your Strategy to Save Money?

A little strategy and planning saved us quite a bit of money. You should try it next time. Again, remember the sale is more important than the price many times to a salesperson. If you walk out the door that is a big fat zero in their book…but a sale is a sale and adds to the bottom line.

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