It seems that Amazon has trained us all to just head to them and use their 1-click system to quickly buy items. They’re often the cheapest place to buy when we shop around, after all. Plus, it saves us a ton of time and we’re all about convenience these days. So, since we get the best price and we save a bunch of time, it’s really a no brainer, isn’t it? Well, that’s what they want you to believe, anyway.
The Quickest Way Isn’t Necessarily the Best Choice
Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. Not completely anyway. The reality is not quite as rosy as they want you to believe. Don’t get me wrong. Amazon is a great service and I use them a lot, but they’re not always the cheapest. They provide a great service in another way, which you might not have considered. I always check them first because they serve two important purposes for me:
- They set the price bar that I measure all other sites against.
- They have a ton of reviews to help me make sure that I get the right product for me.
The Right Way to Shop and Save
Now that Amazon has helped you choose the specific product that you want and have a price to compare against to see if you are getting the best deal, it’s time to brush off a few tricks:
- Fire up a price comparison site: A site like Bing Shopping, Google Shopping or a niche bargain shopping site like shopper.com, which focuses on electronics, can show you some lower priced options or some options that are at least in the ballpark. Better yet, check a few comparison sites and note the prices and where you could buy that item.
- Check shipping costs: Make sure that you know the costs of shipping from wherever you are considering making your purchases.
- Don’t forget taxes: Remember to look into what the taxes are on a given product. Usually you have to put the item into your shopping cart and go to checkout to figure that amount out.
- Do the math: Now fire up the calculator to see what those totals are. Think you’re done? Almost!
- Find the discounts: Time to head to a site that tracks voucher codes and check the sites that you were considering purchasing from. Armed with those additional discounts you can finally get to the last step.
- Bottom line it: Now you can do the final math and see who has the best deal. Sometimes Amazon will win, but you’ll be surprised that you’ll often find that someone else has the best total price.
A Few Minutes For Potentially Big Savings
It may sound like a lot of work if you’ve never tried these steps before, but I’ve found that once I know what I want to buy, it usually only takes a few minutes to a half hour to run through the six steps I listed above. The cost of the item usually determines how long I spend. The more expensive the item is, the more sites I check because the saving are potentially much greater.
One thing I can say completely honestly is that I have saved hundreds every year doing this and saved more than enough to make it worth the small investment of time. All while having a cup of tea or glass of port. So, give it a try and you’ll thank me for it. If you’re not happy with the money you save…well, you can always send it my way!