Here’s a practical tip for anyone wanting to get a discount on purchases: ask for a discount and give something in return. While I don’t think it’s so practical to be a bargain hunter (and make false savings), I think sometimes it can be worth asking for a discount. If you have something to offer (it can be anything from publicity, links, referrals – anything) then you might as well ask to trade.
If you want discount on your favorite indie game, then how about asking if you could help translating (parts of) that game to different language?
If you want discount for a some game engine or development kit, then how about trading the kit to some software you have?
The key is to find something that the other party values, and then make the deal. If you don’t happen to own anything that the other party wants, you can still find some 3rd party and use his services to close the deal. For example, if company A sells computers and needs consulting on leadership but not marketing. You need a new computer and know marketing, but cannot consult on leadership training. You then realize that company B does leadership consulting, but desperately needs help in marketing. Since you can do marketing, you can tell company B to give leadership consulting to company A and in exchange you give marketing aid to company B. Now company A gets what they want, so they can give you a computer.
But a word of warning: don’t get too fixed on getting discounts. Sure… you can get them if you try, but I wouldn’t spend too much time on doing the deals. Simply get to the point fast and if the other party doesn’t want to make the deal, then stop wasting your time.
Everything can be negotiated. It’s another question if it’s worth it.