The "Good Guy" Discount Project

A while back I heard an episode of This American Life that mentioned a "good guy discount". In short, it proposed that if you ask for a discount on random purchases you would get it about 1 out of 5 times or 15% of the time.

Why the discount? Because "you're a good guy, I'm a good guy, c'mon, why not give me a good guy discount". Nothing more. 

Apparently this works, in some cases saving people significant money. But here's the interesting aspect of this life hack, so few people are willing to try/use it because we're uncomfortable asking for things that we don't think we're entitled to. Producer Ben Calhoun, the person who first brought this phenomenon to This American Life as a potential story idea, turned red and started squirming when they told him to produce the story he would need to go out and try it himself. 

"I couldn't get over the pitch itself, it's so cheesy," he explained. "I find it to not be the behavior of the good guy." A good guy wouldn't put somebody on the spot, you're asking them to break the rules for you for absolutely no reason. 

Suffice to say he mustered the courage, asked 5 different stores in 5 separate transactions and sure enough, it worked 1 time. 

So now I'm trying it. I don't make a lot of purchases, but any time I do, I'm going to ask for the "good guy discount" and see what I get. If nothing else, this will make a great newbie assignment to help break down any anxiety I have about talking to strangers and/or asking for something extra that I might not inherently feel entitled to. 

Date Store Dollar Amount Did it work? Savings
November 13, 2016 Exxon Convenience Store $6.58 NO $0.00
Comment "Can I get a 10% of a discount? It's a beautiful day. Why not?"
Not surprised, corporate store and I didn't really push it.