Last time we discussed how to select the gadget that you want to buy. This time I’ll tell you some of the things that I do to find the best price for it.
- Use Price Comparison Engines: These engines will let you search for your desired products and provide a comparison of the costs at which they are available at different stores online as well as offline. Two of my favourites are Price Grabber and Froogle. Price Grabber has the added benefits of providing user reviews about the product as well.
- Deal Sites: Many sites across the web aggregate the latest deals. Some are run by the site owners, e.g., Deals2Buy, HotDealsClub etc, which are mostly almost same to each other. Some are run by the community, e.g. slickdeals, fatwallet, etc.These have an added advantage that the discussion that takes place on the original discussion adds a lot of value and insight in terms of how to stack on even better deals on top of it, provides comparison to other deals, rumours about coming deals in advance, and even deals local to your state, city or a particular store as well.
- Bargain Sites: These sites sell overstocked products at a cheap price. Some of the popular ones are Overstock, Smart Bargains, W00t, Stootsi, etc. W00t and Stootsi are a bit different in the sense that they have very limited number of products available at a time for sale (generally just 1).
- Coupon Codes Sites: Many sites aggregate coupon codes for various online and offline stores that you can use with your purchase to lower the price further. However, you need to go through the terms and conditions of the coupon to make sure that it applies to your purchase, and you might also need some convincing powers to use them in some cases 🙂 . Some of the sites are Wow-Coupons and Current Codes.
- Mail In Rebates: Mail In Rebates are a great way to save a lot of money and even make money on buying things. Basically what you have to do is fill in a form and send it to a given address along with proof of purchase or UPC code. And anywhere between 2–10 weeks you’ll receive a check for the said amount. So, be on the lookout for mail in rebates on manufacturers’ or sellers’ sites. But beware that mail-in-rebates don’t have 100% reliability. They might take a lot of time and might not even come. So, you better depend on them only if you are in US for more than a few weeks and keep tracking them through your mail-in-rebates’ tracking site.
- Cash Back: Many sites give cash backs if you go to the seller’s site through them. An example for this is Fat Wallet.
- Pricematch: This is a great weapon that most people don’t know about or don’t take into consideration. Many shops (generally brick n mortar ones) give a lowest price gaurantee and if you are getting a product at a cheaper rate some place else, they will give u a discount on the difference. e.g. Staples has a 110% price match policy, so if they sell smthing at 50$, and some other place sells it 40$, then they will give it to you for 50 – 1.1x(50–40) = 39$. But many shops will price match to offline shops online and some will consider online ones as well.
- Use Your Mouth (and brains): Don’t think wrong, you perverts ;). By mouth I mean “talking/conversing/convincing”. You can even negotiate prices at many places (Search for the BestBuy motto), and many times you need to convince the floor managers to allow you to stack on coupons after coupons over a product that is already being given at a discount and then get a couple of freebies as well ;).
Well, this is by no means a complete list but I’ve tried to list the most important ones atleast. If I missed out on something, or if you have your own strategies or sites you visit to get the best deals, please share it with us as well.