We all like to think that we’re getting good value for the things we buy, but how can you be really sure? Whatever you buy there’s always that nagging doubt that you might have got a better deal elsewhere. Fortunately there are some simple tips you can follow to help ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Simple though it sounds, visiting a few different shops really can save you money. Of course travelling an extra couple of miles to save 1p on a tin of beans isn’t terribly cost effective but for more expensive items it really can pay. Visit a few shops to find which is offering the best price on the item you want and be open to alternatives too.
It also pays to be patient. When shopping for technology in particular new devices tend to be expensive when they first come out but the price falls quickly thanks to competition. Plus with things like phones and digital cameras where there’s a fast product cycle buying a last generation model can save you a lot of money without losing out on much in the way of features. Keep an eye on manufacturer’s product announcements in the press and on the Web, if you can spot when a new model is on the way you’ll be armed with information that can get you a better deal on the old one. This works when buying a car too, makers are always keen to clear older models to make way for a new one.
Learn to Haggle
It’s not a very British thing to do; haggling over the price, but in a competitive world where retailers are keen for any business they can get it’s worth a try. Okay, so it probably isn’t worth trying to cut your grocery bill in this way but if you’re buying expensive items it’s worth a try. After all the worst that can happen is they say no.
The key is to be firm and polite but not forceful and aggressive. You may find that you have more room to haggle on items that are already reduced as if it’s old or clearance stock the manager may well have some leeway to dispose of it at a lower price.
You can harness the power of the Internet to get a better deal too. The Web is full of comparison sites that can help you get a better deal on lots of different things. This is especially true for financial products like insurance, credit cards and pay day loans. But it can work for other good too.
Try typing the name of the item you want to buy into a search engine and see what comes up. You’ll often find a wide variation in prices. You may also discover smaller retails you were unaware of. These can sometimes offer better prices than the big chains and will usually be more open to haggling.
Whilst you’re online it’s worth looking for discount codes and coupons too. Try cross referencing two or three deal sites to find which one is currently offering the best deal. You can usually subscribe to RSS feeds from the sites so that the latest offers come to you rather than your having to spend time searching.
The key to getting a good deal on anything you buy is to shop around and be alert to any special offers, deals and coupon codes that are around. Try your hand at haggling too, it may feel alien at first but think how good you’ll feel if it works.
Paula Whately is a freelance writer who concentrates on finance matters and recommends that you look for the best deal on payday loans as well as your other shopping.