The press, experts, friends, bloggers and everybody else continuously advise consumers to shop around before buying anything. It may be fun for the items you wear or play with but not for everything. However, we don’t always think logically and money may not be the only reason we do it. There is a thrill of seeing different items and learning about them. This sometimes requires certain interest in the subject matter.
For example, it may be fun to search for a new car but not insurance for it. You may like to go various auto dealers, test drive several brands and models and discuss their specifications with the car salesman. On the other hand, you may not like the idea of shopping for auto insurance even though recent survey suggests that it is the one item that is easy to compare and have the potential to offer you the largest savings.
Time Is Money
Saving is great but it may cost you time which has alternative value. It may appear that it is hard to put a value on it but as far as savings concerned you can probably find a way. Remember, money saved is money earned. Looking at how much you can save and how much time it would cost may be a good way of measuring its value. Please check the survey if you are interested in the numbers.
It is fair to say that you cannot expect to come out as a winner or enjoy the process in every occasion. However, most people have limited amount of money with which they want to buy a lot of things, keep some of it for the future and invest as well. Therefore, comparison shopping should be utilized often to make the money go further.
According to the survey, forty percent of participants are concerned about the tediousness of looking at their options properly and choose the right product. So, here are when it would be a good use of time to shop around for products and services.
Recurring Expenses like Car Insurance instead of One Off Spending
You may be more excited about buying shoes or clothes. Nonetheless, you would be using it more efficiently if you were looking for items that have a large place in the household budget and recurring. One off effort on finding the best mortgage, loan, home and automobile insurance will keep saving you money month after month.
Easy to Compare Items
You cannot really match prices on restaurant food, tuxedo rental or antique furniture. You need to taste, try and like them. However, exact same laptop is sold by several vendors (probably in the same mall) at different prices. It would be silly not to go around the other vendors and check their prices when you can save a quick $50. If you make a habit of it you can extend it to many products.
Availability of Online Comparison
The survey participants mentioned this in two different ways. First of all, they are more likely to shop around for an item they can find online quickly. They are not keen to go around store to store to find the best price. And secondly, they like to be able to see them on one website rather searching several of them. This suggest that websites like CheapAutoInsurance.net is highly valuable in the comparison process.
You can appreciate the concerns in both preferences. People are happy to search online for the best prices of even the smallest items. They may only save few dollars but committing to it does not concern them as they get used to finding things on the internet quickly and easily. It is even better if they know a good website. Many people have their favorite hotel, airline ticket and holiday websites already.
Large Ticket Items
When you are looking to replace one of the large appliances at home you automatically feel the need to shop around. You think that savings would be large because of the large spending and you are probably right. Also, you are curious as to what is available in the market right now. You are likely to end up spending a lot of time online and seeing them in stores. But it is not always about the money. You are probably thinking years of enjoyment or regret you will have with the choice.
You don’t want to put a hideous thing in the middle of the kitchen after all and there are other aspects to consider. Quite often, it is not just about checking prices. It is the process of learning and gathering information about the products and services. It is the same for automobile insurance as well. You don’t just want to find the lowest premium but also find the best coverage and insurer.
Opportunity to Repeat the Savings
Occasionally, we compare the shops. Many people don’t like to go to various stores to buy meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and other grocery items. We have large stores that can provide everything we need in one place. Still, we need to find out which one is cheaper and nearer to us. Once we locate the most convenient and cheapest grocery store we can benefit from our research week after week. Then, all our efforts pay off handsomely over a longer period as we keep repeating the process.
Some people love the challenge of finding the best prices, bargaining where possible and happy to spend hours. Others may be shy, too proud or lazy or simply too busy. How much time you are willing to spend will depend on personal preferences as much as how much you make per hour.
If you are a hot shot lawyer who can charge $1,000 an hour it is understandable that it would be such a waste looking for discounts. Most of us who are not as lucky with earnings will do well by keep looking for deals. Perhaps, you may even develop a habit and start enjoying it when you see how much better off you are at the end.