Don’t Forget to ASK!

This is the time of year at The Glade when we re-enroll for our propane delivery.

Our propane tanks sit behind the Cottage unseen from the house.
Our propane tanks sit on the north side of the Cottage unseen from the house.

We have a choice of about 5 local companies but have been with the same one for years since changing servers means changing out tanks.

The propane gas lever turns one quarter turn for off and back the opposite way for on.
The propane gas lever for our household appliances is in the basement.

I usually pre-pay in August for the estimated amount for the ensuing year. Pre-paying insures that the price doesn’t change as the year progresses. Last year’s price per gallon was $3.829.

To get the price in your area google "your state's name" "propane price"
This is the chart for Maryland propane prices. To get the price in your area google “your state’s name” “propane price”.

Last year we used 331 gallons with a pre-buy of 400.  We have a credit of $266.49.  Before calling to ask about this year’s price I looked up the price of propane in our area for the past year or so here. Armed with the knowledge that the price is hovering just around $3 per gallon that’s the price I was shooting for.

The water heater in our house uses propane.
The water heater in our house uses propane.

Charlie is our inquirer  and negotiator in these situations.  When he called last week the price quoted was $3.559 per gallon.  He called back this week and insisted politely asked them to sharpen their pencil and see what they could do for us.

Our stove burns propane.
Our stove burns propane.

The company rep called back later in the day to say the price per gallon for a customer like us is, da-da-da dah,

You can just see the propane tanks on the side of the Cottage if you peek around the side.
You can just see the propane tanks on the side of the Cottage if you peek around the side.

$2.999. With an order of 450 gallons that saves $252. The moral of the story is to “just ask”.  The worse thing that happens is that they say “no”.

In order to turn the water on in the Cottage we need a new water heater.
In order to turn the water on in the Cottage we need a new water heater.

And we’re ordering more this year even though we didn’t use that much last year because we’re installing a new propane water heater in the Cottage which will use more propane.

Do you negotiate prices? Ever? Never?


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Forget to ASK!”

  1. That is amazing!!! When the replacement window dude was here a few weeks ago to price out the job, neither of us asked him if that was the best price he could do, and we both regret it! I had read another blog a few years ago that said you should always ask “is that the best you can do?” with a nice big smile [and maybe some eyelash batting]. I wish we had. But after pricing them out for myself, I feel we still got a decent deal. But you’re right – it never hurts to ask, and often you will get a better price!

    1. On my boss’ behalf I asked an elevator installer to round off the price to a lower dollar amount. His answer was, “I always lead with my best price.” I wasn’t insulted and I also wasn’t embarrassed to have asked. Jo

  2. Good for you! That’s a great skill to have! I never negotiate on ANYTHING! I wish I had the guts to though…I’m always jealous when I hear the deals other people get!

    1. My husband is a pro (he was a purchasing agent for the circus) and truthfully I have to practice asking in a mirror before I can do it with no hesitation. Jo

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