Is it worth it to comparison shop? The answer is yes: comparison shopping is a way of life, and not just for frugality. Read on to find out how it benefits you.
Americans spend on average $18,000 a year on nonessential items — things they can do without.
Although this number is high there’s no doubt there are some items worth spending money on. How much money you spend on these things depends on how well you do your research before shopping.
This is where comparison shopping comes in. If you want to get the best deal on the products you absolutely need, you should comparison shop.
Read on for the comparison shopping guide.
Comparison Shopping 101
You might be wondering why should you comparison shop when you can just make the purchase and get it over with.
The purpose of comparison shopping is to save you money. After all, you want to make the purchase of your dreams and still have some money leftover.
Even though some people believe comparison shopping is time-consuming, when you do it efficiently you can save a lot of time and money.
For starters, thanks to online stores, you don’t have to drive around town and checking the prices in every store. Online shopping has changed the way people do comparison shopping.
There are even tools, which we’ll cover later on, that can help you do all of your comparison shopping in one place.
What Items Should Things Should You Always Compare?
Although you don’t need to comparison shop every single purchase you make, there are a few big purchases that are worth the time and effort.
If you’re going to spend big bucks, you need to ensure the purchase is worth the money. When it comes to cars, home decor and appliances, and real estate you should always comparison shop.
You probably know the importance of taking a car for a test drive before you buy it. However, there’s more you need to take into account before you drive away with a new car.
If you want to purchase a brand new vehicle, then your decision might be a lot more simple. You might only need to compare vehicles in your price range and see which dealer gives you the best deal.
Buying a used car, however, is a more complex process. When you’re thinking about purchasing a used car you have to compare the millage, the blue book value or the car, and the features.
The more research you do, the better prepared you will be when you’re ready to buy a new car.
Once you’ve purchased a car, you also have to comparison shop for car insurance. It’s important you get the best quote that is going to keep you protected and save you the most money. If you want to get a good deal, find car insurance here.
Home Decor and Appliances
When it comes to furniture and appliances, you should always comparison shop. These are big investments, so you want to make sure you don’t sacrifice quality and price.
If you want to buy furniture, make sure you do more than comparing different furniture stores. For starters, you need to pay attention to the materials and quality of the fabrics.
With appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and televisions, you might want to compare based on sales, but the process is more complex than this.
Don’t always assume because the item is on sale because you’re getting a good deal. Don’t be fooled if you see a sign that says 30 percent off. Often times, these crazy sales are not great deals.
For example, if you found a microwave that is on sale for $20 cheaper than in another retailer, but the shipping fee is $15 you might not be getting a great deal after all.
When you shop for furniture and appliances, you need to also keep in mind the delivery and shipping fees. With these large purchases, the shipping fees should be accounted into the price.
You should consider calling all of the places you’re considering to inquire about their fees. Tell them you’re getting quotes from multiple places and looking for the best deal.
Real estate is another thing you should always comparison shop. When you’re in the process of buying a home, you need to compare similar properties, neighborhoods, and condition of the home.
This is a big decision and comparison shopping will endure you make the best decision for you and your family.
Comparison Shopping Tools
Since you have a better idea now on how comparison shopping works, you’re ready to learn which tools and sites can help you get the best deals.
Google is the king in a lot of things and helping people comparison shop is one of them.
If you use the Google shopping tool, you can have access to thousands of prices, reviews, and stores. All you have to do is check out the categories or look for a specific item, and Google will populate the results.
NextTag is another great site where you can comparison shop a number of items. This tool allows you to narrow down all of the results by recently added products, lowest price, and ratings. There are a few other filters you can apply to narrow down your search even more.
People like NextTag because it’s so easy to search and narrow down the results.
PriceGrabber is an online product comparison tool that is popular worldwide. Searching on PriceGrabber is quite easy — all you have to do is search a keyword and it will populate the results.
If you’re not looking for anything in particular, you can always just browse through their many categories.
PriceGrabber also provides shoppers with a full review of the retailers and product details.
If you love Amazon but don’t have the patience to search through all of the products to get the best deal, CamelCamelCamel will do it for you.
This tool finds you the best deals and it alerts you when another seller has a cheaper price on a certain item.
Why You Should Comparison Shop
Now that you know what items you should comparison shop and how to do it effectively, you’re ready to save money.
Remember to decide which items you want to comparison shop, take your time, and use the right tools.