"I buy my radio advertising when the price is right: there are times you can practically steal it," says Bob Juniper Jr., CEO of two-time Inc. 500 company Three-C Body Shops, based in Columbus, Ohio.

Juniper, who has fueled much of his automotive-repaircompany's growth through marketing, estimates that his 1997sales will approach $8 million. Here's his advice:

Buy radio ads in bulk. "Instead of buying month by month, I book a full year at a time," Juniper says. The savings are as much as 30% for radio ads, in his experience. "We still pay only monthly. It makes sense because we know we are committed to running ads throughout the year."

Buy cancellations. Let stations know that if they have a last-minute cancellation, you're willing to buy it. That can happen when, for instance, a business doesn't receive the inventory it's expecting and needs to drop the advertising it was planning for a sale next week. "You can get up to 50% off," says Juniper. The downside of such an arrangement: you must be prepared to buy the spots whenever they become available.

Buy 10-second ads along with 60-second ones. Juniperlaunched an aggressive radio campaign for his auto-bodyshops five years ago, running ads on rotating stations for one week a month, every month. After a year or two he was able to mix in 10-second spots, which cost half as much. "All advertising is based on having a unique message," Juniper says. "Assuming you have one, customers who have heard it at 60 seconds will recall it in 10 seconds."