Shopping around is a term that any student of personal finance must have read or heard at one time or the other. It means that before you make any purchase, you should consider and evaluate different deals, offers, and options. The basic thrust is that the first option is not necessarily the best, and the most convenient option may not deliver the best value. If you want to buy a car, for example, the first car dealer you meet down the street is not necessarily the best. For houses, the most popular real estate agency in your community may not give you the best offer. The grocery store where your close friend works might not offer you the best deals.
Consequently, to get the best value for your money, you need to be ready to compare different offers, looking out for some specific metrics.
Benefits of shopping around
What are the benefits of shopping around?
- Value for money: When you shop around, you can get better value for the same price or get the same value at a cheaper price.
- Increased savings: When you get the same value at a cheaper price, you can increase your savings by reducing your expenses.
- Better quality: The advantage of shopping around is not limited to the price differentials. You can get better quality when you shop around.
- Special Offers: You can also get access to some special offers that you will not be aware of if you are not shopping around.
- Achieving your financial goals: Because of all the above, you are in a better position to achieve your financial goals.
How to Shop Around?
Yellow pages are very good if you are looking to purchase some high-end products or services. The Yellow Pages contains a list of the businesses in your area. If you want to buy a car, you can identify the different car dealers in your vicinity. When you decide to buy a property, you can identify all the mortgage companies in your area, etc. Under each category, you will see the various options you have.
It is best to explore these different companies. To narrow down the work, you can look them up online and see the ones with good online presence and reviews. However, if the list is not voluminous, it is good if you could visit or place a call to them all.
Many e-commerce sites are springing up, selling different types of products. With e-commerce sites, shopping around is easier. Apart from popular websites like Amazon and E-bay, you will find other smaller e-commerce businesses that tend to offer better deals for the same products.
Another way to get better offers on e-commerce sites is to leave products to cart and leave them there without going to checkout. Most e-commerce businesses have retargeting ads where they offer you better deals on the product you abandoned in the cart.Another way to get better offers on e-commerce sites is to leave products to cart and leave them there without going to checkout. Most e-commerce businesses have retargeting ads where they offer you better deals on the product you… Click To Tweet
Product Review sites
There are sites dedicated to reviewing products in a particular niche and showing you the offer with the best value for money. Many of these sites have detailed information that can be very helpful when making purchase decisions.
Whenever you want to make a purchase, just type, “review of the best (product name) in (year of purchase)” in the google search box. You will get links to what some of these websites have written on that product.
Personal Finance Websites
Some personal finance websites keep a tab on where you can get the best deals for some products, especially finance-related products like mortgages, credit cards, et al.
Watch out for special sales seasons
There are some special seasons when retailers give special deals. There is black Friday through cyber Monday; there are the Christmas season deals; thanksgiving deals, among others. Here is an article that compiled all these important seasons in 2018. They are still relevant because the cycle continues every year.
Some shoppers have also noticed that the end of the day and the end of the quarter are good times for negotiations.
Search for Coupons
Coupons help to reduce the price you pay for the products you buy. You can use the https://www.couponmom.com/ and http://www.couponcraze.com/ websites to search for available coupons on some popular retail sites.
Cashback sites give you rewards on the purchases you make from the site. They have partnerships with many e-commerce stores. When you buy from those stores through the cashback sites, you get a sum of money credited to you for your purchase.
Another way to shop around is to ask families, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. You can pull these recommendations together and examine the offers you can get from them.
There are also online forums where you can widen the scope of your recommendations. You get more people beyond your immediate sphere who can recommend some good deals they have used. Forums on Reddit and Quora or personal finance forums are good starting points.
Sometimes, what you need to get better deals are sound negotiation skills. Let the salesperson know that you are exploring other options, and the deal he or she gives you will help you make a choice. Sometimes, salespersons have permission to lower prices, but they won’t if you don’t ask for it.Sometimes, what you need to get better deals are sound negotiation skills. Let the salesperson know that you are exploring other options, and the deal he or she gives you will help you make a choice. Sometimes, salespersons have… Click To Tweet
What to look for when shopping around?
It is very easy to assume that the only factor that matters when you shop around is price. That is not so. Price is only one of the many factors that you consider in this process.
Some of the factors to consider include:
- Product Quality
- Warranty and guaranty deals
- Money-back guarantees
It is important to understand that none of these factors stands all by itself. There must be a consideration of each one of them to get the best value for money. The comparative value of goods and services is a good personal finance concept to understand.
Shopping around is a personal finance concept that can help you get better value for your money, trim your expenses, increase your savings, and help you accomplish your financial goals. Shopping around goes beyond looking for the lowest prices, but the price is also an important consideration. The goal is to get the same value for a cheaper price or more value for the same price.Shopping around is a personal finance concept that can help you get better value for your money, trim your expenses, increase your savings, and help you accomplish your financial goals. Click To Tweet
Start shopping around, and you will be surprised how much you can improve your finances.