This article was contributed by Steven Blake who is a freelance writer covering shopping, consumer, and retailer behavioral analysis for various clients in the retail industry.
As we all know, prices are not always constant. However, we are not always sensitive to price changes, and many people may waste their money without thinking. According to CNBC data, nearly 80% of younger consumers are more likely to engage in impulsive shopping. The rapid development of online shopping, with its easy and fast payments, also contributes to quick buying decisions, leaving less time for second thoughts.
Shopping online can reduce your awareness of price changes, as they are constantly occurring. For example, when shopping for groceries online, consumers may be more likely to add extra items to their cart without comparing prices, unlike in brick-and-mortar stores where people usually have a habit of price comparison.
With the availability of numerous online stores and products, it’s possible to find the same item at a lower price elsewhere. Here are some tips to raise awareness of price changes and save money.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Price Adjustment and Refund Policies of Your Preferred Store
Many stores offer price adjustments and related refund policies. For instance, Amazon has a 7-day price adjustment policy, and you can request a refund for the price difference if the item you purchased drops in price within a week. Walmart’s mobile app has the “Walmart Saving Catcher”, which reminds you of lower prices after a purchase by scanning the receipt QR code. The tool automatically searches for lower prices at competitor stores, and if found, Walmart offers a refund. Stores with price adjustment policies are more trustworthy and less likely to trick you with hidden price changes.
2. Take Note of Previous Price Adjustments
If you pay attention to the price history of an item, you can identify a regular pattern. Research the price adjusting trends and you’ll find a predictable and cyclical pattern. For example, gifts like jewelry and decorations often have the highest prices during special occasions. Fitness equipment prices are higher in warm seasons, and electronics and appliance prices continue to decline after their initial release. Knowing this pattern can help you save money. You can also use third-party tools like price trackers, such as the free site Camelcamelcamel, to monitor the price trend of your desired item. If you have enough time and patience, you can wait for the lowest price.
3. Shop During Off-Peak Seasons
Some items have high prices during specific times, such as seasonal clothes and souvenirs with special significance. However, production doesn’t stop after these special moments. It’s also a reminder to prepare for special events in advance; buying 1-2 months earlier is usually the best time, as prices are higher during last-minute shopping. Gift prices always decline after holiday sales for Christmas and New Year’s Day. You can save money by buying gifts and making preparations in January for next year’s holidays and anniversaries. For example, you can get a discount of up to 50% at the Personalization Mall, which is cheaper than early February, when Valentine’s Day is approaching.
4. Monitor Competitors
When planning to buy something, think twice and keep an eye on the store’s competitors. You can not only compare prices and get a better item, but also put pressure on retailers and avoid being tricked. Some retailers will only give you a refund if their competitors, who offer similar items at close prices, drop their prices. If their competitors offer a price adjustment refund and the items are of the same quality, it’s best to buy from them.
5. Request a Refund
If you make an impulsive purchase without a price adjustment policy, there is a less recommended but still useful option – request a refund. You can refund the item under their refund conditions, as long as it’s not damaged and doesn’t affect resale
About the author
Steven Blake is a freelance writer covering shopping, consumer, and retailer behavioral analysis for various clients in the retail industry. Steven strives to make the topic of saving money approachable for all. He is well-versed in money-saving tips and how to live fabulously within a budget. He has much experience researching and exploring the latest shopping trends and developing retail marketing strategies.