Picture this: you’re in the middle of the latest episode of ‘Game of Thrones’. The Lannisters / Starks / Targaryens / whoever are about to kill someone / make a cunning move / do some cool dragon stuff.
And then your TV carks it.
After the initial wave of panic leaves your body, you’ll probably be compelled to head to your nearest department store and just buy the best TV on the spot. This is where I tell you to wait; you earned your cold hard dollarydoos, and damn as heck you should spend them wisely. With a bit of research, patience, and a touch of confidence, you can guarantee you get the best price for your next big purchase every time.
With all this under your belt, you might just be ready to face the fluorescent hellscape of your local department store.
Throughout this entire process, a pen and paper is crucial. This way you can quickly note down prices, store locations, and compare like you’re the toughest guest judge to ever show up on a reality game show. If you aren’t taking notes and names? You may as well be doing this whole thing with one hand tied behind your back.
SCOUR THE INTERNET
Find every major retailer that sells what your after and check their prices. Check if they have an eBay store, and if said eBay store currently has a discount code. Then check online retailers like Kogan. This is also where checking sites like OzBargain and Lasoo are worthwile. This helps two ways: you can quickly find out where the best prices are, and know how much is a “reasonable” amount to spend. Because the last thing you want is to spend a grand more than you could.
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
After doing the above, it’s best to take heed and examine what you’ve found so far. You might be able to get a better deal on what you’re after if you’re willing to wait a little longer to get it delivered, or pick it up yourself from a central warehouse, or even get a factory second (which means it may have had a prior life as a showroom display piece, a business loan item, or other such low-use places). If you’re not after something right-now-at-this-exact-moment, you may be able to slash your overall cost by a significant amount.
KNOW WHICH PLACES PRICE MATCH
As the Bunnings slogan says, “Low Prices Are Just The Beginning.” Knowing what places price match, and by how much, is another imperative factor when shopping around. The best prices might not be near or convenient to you, but the place that is may be willing to match that price. If you don’t know if a store price matches, just call and find out. And just like that, everything can work out.
ALWAYS ASK FOR THEIR BEST PRICE
There are so many reasons why it never hurts to ask. They may have a special one-day discount, or the salesperson may want to meet their sales targets, or they may just like you and want to make you feel special with a better price. In any and every case, simply asking nicely what they can do with prices or if there’s any wiggle room can offer you a whole other world of prices.
ASK FOR A DISCOUNTED BUNDLE
No-one ever needs just a TV; you need a TV, speaker bar, TV stand or wall mount, maybe even a new gaming console to go with. Likewise, you never just need an SLR for your upcoming trip. You also need a camera bag, memory cards, lenses, and so much more. In short, you may need more stuff than you suspect. In this case, asking a store person if they can arrange a bundle of similar goods for an overall lower price might just save you some coin (and, again, help them meet whatever sales targets they need to hit).
FORCE COMPETITORS AGAINST EACH OTHER
Simply, if you’re willing to do the legwork between two stores, you can get a great deal by pitting them against each other.
Here’s a quick example. Store A has a new dishwasher for $1000 and is willing to price match, but is also offering a 10% off deal for today only. Store B is also offering the same dishwasher for $1100, but has a price match offer that beats competitors prices by 5%. What you do is you go to Store A and get proof of their one-day deal bringing the dishwasher down to $900. You then go to Store B, with proof of Store A’s promotion. They bring their price down to $950. You buy the dishwasher, safe in the knowledge that you just saved $150 on the recommended retail price. Brain Geneious.
Remember, it’s dangerous to go alone.
*The above article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.