So there's a new piece of gear you want. Where are you gonna get the best price? Guitar Center, SamAsh, Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, Zzounds? You may know this, or you may not, but shopping around really works. Play these guys against each other. Many of them have room to play with pricing you see on their websites. If you see one site is running a promotion to get 8% off using a promo code, you can bet if you call a competitor they will meet or BEAT that price. Not only that--they may beat a "hypothetical" price you can convince them you can get. For instance, I have a Guitar Center Gear Card. It's a horrible credit card BUT it does give you 5% off anything you buy at Guitar Center. Also, I use eBates.com (TopCashBack is another good one) to get an additional 3% back at GC.
Even if you don't have a GC Gear Card, the guys at Sweetwater don't know that. Call them up and say, "Look, I wanted to buy [insert piece of gear here] and was gonna buy it on the GC website, but I really like Sweetwater and would rather give you guys the business. Explain that you have a GC Gear Card, which gives you 5%, plus GC is running an 8% off sale (I'd advise not fibbing about a sale, as they probably know sales competitors have going), and tell them you usually buy through eBates, which gives an additional 3% off. So you're wondering if Sweetwater can match that total of 16% off you're getting at GC. There's a very good chance they will meet it or come close.
You don't even necessarily need to play the "I got a better price elsewhere" card. Think about just picking up the phone instead of ordering online. Especially if you're gonna be spending a couple hundred bucks or more. Just say something like, "I want to buy a couple things from you guys today, but honestly I'm short on funds. What's the best price you can give me on XYZ?" You might get nothing...or you might get 5 or 10% off. Get creative. Look on eBay--search the web. If you find a good price from a legitimate retailer, tell the rep the price you found. Maybe they'll match it. Again, I've seen these guys are allowed to move on prices. The online gear market is VERY competitive, so the phone reps are trained to be willing to bend to get a sale. This is just my experience, and your mileage my vary, but give it a try. What have you got to lose...except money?