5 Tips For Comparing Prices And Getting The Best Deal

No one wants to feel like they’re paying more than they should for a product or service. The experience of “getting a good deal,” on the other hand, is almost addictive. Most people are willing to go out of their way to get the best price for a good or service. However, they may not know the best way to efficiently check for good deals.

Whether you’re on a tight budget or you simply like to live frugally, it’s important to learn how to bargain shop. Here are five tips for comparing prices and getting the best deal on everything from insurance coverage to birthday gifts.

1. Compare Price Quotes From Multiple Companies

How often do you rely on those flashy “sale” signs in stores to make purchasing decisions? Typically, the signs will include the item’s “original price” next to the marked-down price. But what many shoppers don’t know is that stores often use these little sale tags to fool customers. They may list a higher original price so customers think they’re getting a better deal. To make sure you’re truly getting a good deal, it’s wise not to rely only on in-store sale signage.

Comparing prices from multiple companies is a better way to make sure you’re getting the best price for an item or service. As you can imagine, comparing price tags for every jar of peanut butter or box of cereal would be very time-consuming. Therefore, you may want to save this tactic for larger purchases. For example, it’s worth your time to reach out to multiple insurance companies for a home insurance quote. You may also want to compare multiple quotes for furniture, appliance, or vehicle purchases.

2. Wait for Seasonal Sales

At different times throughout the year, many retailers heavily discount seasonal items. This is a great time to get the best deal on the things you want to buy. When it comes to clothing, you’ll typically get the best price when you make your purchase right after the current season ends. Of course, that means you may need to wait a while before you can wear those seasonally-specific items. But for many frugal shoppers, buying out of season is worth the wait because it yields the very best deals.

When it comes to large-ticket items like vehicles, the end of the summer is one of the best times to go shopping. Most automakers offer exceptional deals at this time to make way for new models that typically debut in the fall. Late December is also a great time to buy a new automobile. This is when monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales goals converge. If a dealership is looking to sell a few more cars before year’s end, they may offer unusually low prices.

3. Download Money-Saving Apps

Comparing prices and sleuthing for good deals can be time-consuming and exhausting. Imagine how nice it would be to have a personal deal-finder follow you around and help you make the wisest purchases. Now, stop imagining. You may not be able to find a person who provides this service, but there are plenty of apps that do. Some of them even offer opportunities to earn cash back on the purchases you make.

Some of the best deal-finding, coupon-generating, and cash-back apps include Groupon, The Coupons App, Ibotta, and ShopSavvy. These apps are free and provide price comparisons, sales alerts, coupons, and daily deals. You can also get notified of sales and deals happening at your favorite stores by joining their email lists.

4. Leave Items in Your Shopping Cart

Abandoned shopping carts are a huge problem for many online retailers. The global abandoned shopping cart rate is approximately 70%. Many online retailers try to reduce their abandoned cart rates by offering incentives to buy. These usually come in the form of special, limited-time offers like 15% off the items in your cart. Not all retailers offer this type of incentive, but many do.

If you aren’t in a hurry to finalize an online purchase, you may want to let it sit in your shopping cart for a while. Abandoned cart incentives typically don’t activate until the cart has been abandoned for a specific period of time. If a retailer offers an abandoned cart incentive, you’ll usually see a special offer pop up on your screen. If the retailer has your email address, they may send the offer there. In either case, you get the satisfaction of saving money just by waiting a little while before finalizing your purchase.

5. Choose Free In-Store Pickup

Shopping online is undeniably convenient, even if the store you’re purchasing from has a brick-and-mortar location near you. But if you shop online instead of in-store, you may spend more on your purchase because of shipping costs. Most stores charge somewhere between $5 and $7 for shipping.

To get the best deal on your purchases, choose free in-store pickup whenever possible. You still get the convenience of shopping for what you want online this way. But instead of paying for delivery, schedule a time to go pick up the item. Try to do this when you already have errands to run in that area so you can save money on gas, as well.

Inflation is remarkably high these days, so it’s wise to stretch each dollar as far as possible. Use these shopping strategies to make sure you’re getting the best deal on both small- and large-ticket items.