Americans are no strangers to overspending, as 52% of them spend more money than they make. And with the holiday season in full swing, most people will blow their allotted holiday shopping budget.
One of the best ways to avoid this pitfall is to look for a good price for the items on your wishlist. But what is a good price and how do you know if you’ve found one?
Here is a list of ways that you can begin smart shopping, so you can keep some extra money in your pocket this holiday season.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a good deal is by comparing prices. Not price checking first can end up costing you money. It’s worth it to spend the time searching for the best price.
Even though you won’t be able to survey every store that carries your item, finding a handful of stores or sites should be enough to help you make a decision. Price tracking can be done online, flipping through ads, or using price tracking sites or apps.
What Are Price Tracking Sites?
Price tracking sites are sites that allow you to do a side-by-side comparison of the item you’re wanting to purchase. They offer tools to filter your options and show you which websites carry the product. Sites like Google Shopping, Pronto, and BizRate are all popular choices.
Price checker apps make it convenient to price check if you’re out shopping and a deal seems too got to be true. Simply open the app on your phone to see if the deal in front of you is worth it.
Read Reviews if Purchasing Online
Have you ever come across an amazing deal, bought the item, and then found out that it wasn’t at all what you expected? Not quite the amazing deal you were hoping for!
Before you click “buy” on your purchase, read the reviews on the product. Reading reviews will help you gauge an idea of the item. You’ll discover if it’s high-quality, the customer service of the company, return policy, what other people thought of the item itself (did it arrive as expected, were parts missing, etc.), and so on.
By reading the reviews you can save yourself some time, heartache, and hassle should you end up having to return the item. Don’t just read reviews on one site. Try the manufacturer’s site as well as others.
Beware of fake reviews. People will write fake reviews in order for shoppers to buy their item. Sites like Fakespot help track these reviews and weed out ones that are phony.
Spotting fake reviews on your own isn’t too difficult. A review that explains in great detail why a product is great or lousy, is more likely to be real. Whereas a fake review does not elaborate at all.
Research the Store or Merchant
Sometimes when a product seems drastically reduced, it’s tempting to pull out the credit card and buy. However, that doesn’t mean the company selling it is legit.
Buying from an unknown store or merchant can be dangerous. Your information could get stolen, and you may never see your item, leaving you the victim of a scam.
There are a few key things to keep in mind to avoid a fraudulent purchase. Make sure the merchant or seller you’re buying from has a physical address, phone number, website, and customer service number. Inquire about their return policy and check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Doing these things will give you a better idea about the company and making a valid purchase.
Know How Much You’re Spending
Always have a budget for how much you want to spend on an item. Without a budget, overspending is guaranteed! Also, having a budget will help you narrow down your choices when you’re shopping around for the best price.
Planning ahead is essential. For example, if you’re TV searching, do some research on the product you want. Know what features you’d prefer, screen size and so on before you start looking.
This simplifies your search, instead of getting sucked into buying something entirely out of your price range with features you may never use.
Watch for Price Drops
Just because there’s a 40% off sign on the product, doesn’t mean it’s a true price drop. Check with the manufacturer on their website for the retail price, before buying something that’s on sale.
Sometimes other companies will lower their prices and you may like to stay on top of those. Price-watching sites like Camelcamelcamel and Honey will assist and alert you if there’s a lower price.
Camelcamelcamel is perfect if you’re a heavy Amazon buyer. Honey must be downloaded to your browser and will automatically give you the lowest price available online.
Use What You Have
Shoes are fun, sure. But if you have a closet full of them, is it necessary to buy more?
The best time for a good deal is when you truly need it. If you don’t need it and weren’t planning on buying it, even if it’s on sale you’re spending more than you budgeted!
Don’t Always Buy Used
While there’s a list of several things that are good to buy used or second-hand, sometimes it’s not always cost-effective. Depending on the age of the item, you’re better off buying new and getting miles off the item, than buying used and having it break or die in a short amount of time.
If you’re still convinced that buying used is the way to go, some companies offer refurbished goods. These items must live up to certain standards before they’re sold to the public.
A Good Price Is Worth Waiting For
There are many different ways you can go about looking for a good price for the item you wish to buy. Doing research and a little homework can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars!
By implementing some of these tactics, you can feel confident that you’ve done all you can do to save yourself some cash.
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