There is rarely any reason to pay full retail price for anything you buy in a store. With the rise of online shopping — which allows for instant price comparison — brick-and-mortar establishments must go the extra mile to earn your business.
To score bargains, you simply need the tools to pay less for what you want. Read on to fill your tool kit:
1. Learn to negotiate
Most people are uncomfortable haggling. Instead, we’re used to opening our wallets and saying, “Here you go.”
But it is often worth trying to bargain. The savings can be substantial.
In “10 Tips for Negotiating a Better Price on Anything,” Money Talks News offers 10 tips for haggling, including:
- Do your homework to know what the price should be.
- Make sure you are asking the right person for the discount.
- Pay with cash instead of plastic.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away.
Just remember, the first price isn’t always the final price, and there is no harm in asking for a better deal.
2. Use online tools to get brick-and-mortar discounts
Look for websites that offer coupons or coupon codes. Popular sites include Coupons.com, RetailMeNot and Coupon Craze. For deals on eating out and entertainment, check out Restaurant.com, Groupon or (in most parts of the country) LivingSocial.
Follow companies you like on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Many offer special discounts and advance notice on upcoming deals at their stores through social media. Another way to get coupons and discount codes is by signing up for company email lists.
You can also let an online price-tracker do your legwork. These tools allow you to enter products that you may want to purchase, and they alert you — by email or other means — when the price drops at any of the stores they track.
3. Use a discounted gift card you bought online
Discounted gift cards come from people who have a card from a retailer and sell it for less than its face value in order to get cash. So, for example, you may be able to buy someone’s unwanted $50 Eddie Bauer gift card for $40.
If you go this route, beware of scams. Only buy from reputable websites. Raise is one of the more popular and well-respected sites for buying gift cards.
4. To save on groceries, shop on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday
On Wednesdays, many grocers begin store sales that last for a week. On Sundays, big supermarkets often release coupon pamphlets.
So, a grocery shopper’s “sweet spot” is Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, when shoppers can take advantage of both kinds of discounts.
5. Buy in bulk when an item is on sale
Whether it’s toothbrushes or nonperishable food items, consider buying in bulk. Keep a price list of groceries and sundries that your family buys on a regular basis to help you decide when something is a great deal.
Make sure that you have enough space to store your purchases and that the items are not perishable.
Have more ideas for saving at stores? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.