Preparing and Acting Quickly to Get the Best Deals
Great deals rarely last long. Perhaps that’s why so many people face the cold and darkness every Black Friday. The same principles driving those people can be applied to everyday purchasing decisions.
Preparing for a great deal comes in two forms: accumulating funds to cover the purchase and understanding the price point that makes a good deal a great one. Accumulating funds is critical if you truly want the best deal. Purchasing at a great price, only to have the balance sit on your credit card and accumulate huge interest charges quickly erodes the value of the deal. Knowing the normal and typical sale prices of the desired item will help you to quickly spot a deal too good to pass by.
There are a lot of ways to stay on top of the product you are watching, some general, some specific. You could periodically search on a price comparison site or configure a pricing alert. The alert will typically email you when your pricing criteria are met. For a specific item, you may want to look for a specific price alert site. When I was shopping for a Nintendo Wii, I refused to pay more than the MSRP. So I signed up with Wii Alerts to get a text message (on-screen and email alerts are also possible) as soon as a retailer had one in stock for the price I was willing to pay. A 3 AM text sent me running for my computer to make the desired purchase. At the time, Wii systems were selling on eBay for $500+. While Wii Alerts is great for video games and accessories, similar sites exist for many other products and services.
Proper preparation and understanding of prices are only going to get you so far. When the deal you are looking for finally comes along, it’s important to act quickly. I recently purchased a top-of-the-line car seat within 2 minutes of receiving an email that Target was carrying it for $40 with free shipping, even though it normally retailed for $280. Twenty minutes later, they were completely sold out. Since I knew it was a good deal and had the money in place, I had no reason to hesitate. As a result, I got the deal.
Shopping online allows us to get unbelievable deals, but only if we are willing to take advantage of them. At times it may be inconvenient (such as my middle of the night Wii purchase) but for the right price, it is certainly worth it. So get your money in place, understand the price that will get you to act quickly, and when the deal comes along, go for it!
What tools do you use to get great deals?
Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 9:02 am