Don’t be Stupid and Pay the Full Price!

Inflation? what inflation?

It is mind-boggling that I still see people paying the full price on things like electronics, cars, clothing, books and lots more. And in some cases, not only do people pay full price, they pay premium. These people could have easily saved lots of money if they took the effort and looked around.  With so much competition from businesses for your money these days-with the exceptions of things like gas, electricity-you shouldn’t pay full price for anything!

These days, you can find savings and discounts everywhere you look. Whether it is electronics, books, clothing, food, savings are everywhere.  The first and best place to find them is online. Let us go through some of the channels where you can find savings and discounts on the items you are thinking of buying:

Weekly flyers: where I live, we get a bag full of flyers for more than 10 different stores, every Thursday evening.   I and my family make full use of these flyers. On average they save us $25-100 every week in grocery and other shopping. These flyers include food, electronics, hardware, auto parts and other general purpose stores.   If you get these flyers where you live, make full use of them and go through them. Chances are, you may find something you like, want or need on sale. Not checking these flyers before going grocery shopping is like blind shopping.  If these flyers are not delivered to you, no worries, you can simply find them all on flyerland.ca .

-Group Buying websites: websites like Groupon, DealFind, Canadian  TeamBuy and others, have made it easy for people to find a different deal on a different item everyday.  These companies look for businesses such as restaurants or beauty salons that are willing to give special deals and discounts to consumers. The group buying websites then feature one of these special offers from different companies on their website everyday.  Most of them make it easy and email you the offer as it opens.  Sign up with one of these sites and try them out for a few weeks. You may get offers that are of special interest to you and end up saving you lots of money.

Online auction and merchant sites: whether it is Ebay, Kijiji, Craigslist, or others, the competition for your money is massive and that can only mean more savings for you.  Using these websites, you can find new or used items, with the latter saving you lots of money, sometimes more than half of what you would pay for a brand new version of the same item. Other websites like Amazon have pioneered the selling of books and electronics at very affordable prices, usually a lot less than what you would pay for at regular stores.

Sign up for special store email offers: if you have a favorite store or brand, head up to their website and sign up for their special offers mailing list.  If you are not in a rush to buy a certain item from your favorite store, simply wait for the right time and offer before making your purchase.  Two summers ago, I was searching for a certain part for my car, but there was no urgency to get it right away. Being a recipient of special discounts from a local auto parts store, I finally got an email where the product I was looking for was discounted by about 40%, and that is when I made my purchase and saved a lot!

Twitter and Social Networking: Twitter is all the rage now, and it is a great place to find discounts on literally thousands of items.  Simply search for the product you are interested in, and chance are, you will find lots of results.  Twitter is quiet effective given its use of real time results, so the discounts and offers you find, are as up-to-date as possible. For more information about using Twitter to save money, visit our article here.

Special Community Forums: these days, it is all about the power of community and people coming together and sharing what special deals and offers they have come across.  In Canada, RedFlagDeals.com is a perfect example.  As you visit these websites more and more, you will find new discounts and offers on things that you may have never been aware of. You are taking advantage of the collective leveraging of a big community’s coming together and sharing money saving ideas.

Haggle and Shop Around: yes, you have heard this before. But there is a slight difference in what we mean. Let me explain.  We are still in tough economic times and are not out of the woods yet. This means companies are desperate to keep business going, by selling as much as they can. This often means lowering their prices to keep demand high. This all works in your favor. Look at prices for electronics, cars, books and clothing around you. Most of it have gone down in the last two years. Of course, it is not just the economy, other things like the high Canadian dollar is another factor working in Canadians’ favor.  The point is, businesses are still looking to keep afloat and survive the downturn, and they will do anything to sell products and services.  And as mentioned earlier, the competition from different sources is stronger than ever before.

More options means more savings: the availability of more than one place to buy what you want means more competition for your money. A perfect example is ‘travel packages’ You have at least 10 discount travel websites to choose from, not to mention all the other ‘last minute deals’ sites. With more options available to travelers than ever before, I don’t know why would anyone pay the full price or go with the first package they find.

The days of buying something from the first look are long gone. People should take full advantage of all the tools and channels outlined above to find special discounts and savings on the products they are thinking of buying. Doing your research will put lots of money back into your pocket.