Hidden Discounts you’ve Never Heard Of

Would You Tell a Waitress to “F*** Off”

There is a restaurant near my family’s home in South Florida that supposedly offers hidden discounts on meals if you know the password. When I first heard about this I thought it was a joke because the password is a rude remark that you wouldn’t say to someone unless you wanted to get your ass kicked.

The deal is if you order the burger and then tell the waiter/waitress to “F*** Off” your meal is only $2! I’m sure a disgruntled ex-employee started this rumor and was sitting in a corner laughing their butt off at the idea of someone expecting a discount on their meal after they are rude to the wait staff. The burger is normally $11 and is known to be one of the best burgers in the country.

I wasn’t sure what to think about the hidden discount but when I went to the restaurant for lunch one day I decided to ask.  No, I wasn’t going to test telling the waitress to, “F*** off”. I simply asked her how long she had worked there and if there was any truth to this “rumor”.

Turns out she had been working there for a number of years and knew all about this secret “password”! Unfortunately, this turned out to simply be an urban legend.  Though she said it was funny to see when patrons would try it on newer waitresses who knew nothing about it.  Usually, she would just laugh it off and tell them it was just an urban legend.  However, these newer waitresses would get pissed off, and rightfully so.

While this hidden password is one that will not work, there are some that are truly legitimate. Getting discounts using hidden passwords and codes is fun and exciting. Take for example Amazons hidden discount pages. Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world.  They sell everything from books, exercise equipment, food, electronics, to clothing.  If there is something you can think of chances are Amazon sells it. Amazon’s hidden discount web pages offer items at a discount of up to 99 percent. Amazing deals!

As you can imagine Amazon deals with tons of inventory.  So they’re constantly discounting items to make room for new inventory and move slow moving products.  Though Amazon doesn’t always make it easy for you to find all of these deals.  They’d much rather direct you to their better selling, higher profit margin products. 

The hard part is finding these pages. Amazon doesn’t publicize them or even link to them directly. You have to manipulate Amazon’s URL to even be able to see all the pieces that are marked down on one web page. Without doing this you’d have to troll through the millions of web pages Amazon has to find all the deals.

Basically all of Amazons products are divided into categories.  This provides a logical framework for the site and also helps categorize everything for users.  However some geeky computer guys found out that you can plug in discount ranges into the category links to put all their best discounts on one page.

Let’s say for example you were looking for jewelry.  Each category that Amazon has is represented by a node number.  So if you go to amazon.com and click on the jewelry page you will find you are directed to this url:

http://www.amazon.com/jewelry-watches-engagement-rings-diamonds/b/ref=topnav_storetab_jw?ie=UTF8&node=3367581

The key element to finding the hidden discount page is the number after node=.  In this case it is 3367581.

Your next step would then be placing the node number into this discount url.  Let’s look at 75-95% off for this example:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/?node=xxxxx&pct-off=75-99

To get to the hidden discount page you’d simply replace the xxxxx with the node number for the specific category.  In the case of jewelry it will be:

3367581.  So simply plug that into the url like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/?node=3367581&pct-off=75-99

The &pct-off-75-99 tells the page what types of discounts in the category to look for.  So this can be adjusted based on the type of deal you’re looking for.  In the jewelry category I’ve found some crazy deals like a 3.25 carat $10k diamond ring selling for $1900.  The deals to be found are virtually endless.

While researching this article I also found out about hidden airline travel deals. Occasionally airlines will severely cut prices to popular domestic routes between two cities. Many of these price cuts appear without warning and aren’t advertised.

The story goes that an airline will slash prices to a common domestic route usually first thing in the morning and end the sale suddenly four to eight hours later. These brief, quiet sales are most common on trips that will be made within the following week or month. You can however get deals that allow travelers to use them up to three months later.

The trick to finding these deals is signing up for email alerts from companies that specialize in tracking these sorts of deals. Sign up at airfarewatchdog.com or travelzoo.com. Better yet follow them on Twitter to find out immediately about unadvertised airline sales. Check out @airfarewatchdog or @travelzoo.

Have fun searching through all the discounts on these webpages!

Keeping Money in Your Pocket,

Nancy Patterson

 
 
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