In the past I have talked about the two types of shoppers: Lookers and Knowers. As a review, Lookers, are, well, looking. They know who to buy for, but they don’t know what to buy. Knowers have a specific item in mind.
While Lookers need help connecting with a broad range of quality products at great values, Knowers need a different type of support. They need help answering this question: is this a good price? A Knower wants to buy, but certainly doesn’t want to pay too much.
Your To-Do Item
Here’s your task: The very next time you buy something, feel confident (groceries and gas don’t count. We’re talking gifts).
I want you to be confident at the cash register. You are confident when you add something to your virtual cart online. Confidence comes when you know that you got a good-enough deal.
I shop with confidence because I’ve got two tools on my tool belt to help me.
When I’m in a store, I do a price comparison using a free app called ShopSavvy. With ShopSavvy I scan the barcode of whatever item I’m considering and get a list of results. The results show other retailers, both online and brick & mortar stores, who carry that same item. It tells me what everyone’s price is for that same item. From there, I can decide whether I want to buy now or wait and pick this item up from elsewhere.
(If you aren’t in front of a box with a UPC code on it, then you can use ShopSavvy’s lookup feature to get price comparison results for a product by name.)
For online shopping, I always check a product’s price history using the free website CamelCamelCamel.com. At CamelCamelCamel.com I can see what Amazon has charged for a specific product over time. I first look up an item on Amazon, then copy and paste the Amazon url into the CamelCamelCamel search box.
Voila! Up pops a chart and a nice results summary box beneath it. Sure, the chart looks like a pulse monitor chart with its peaks and valleys, but it’s not (just in case you were confused about that). It’s the day-by-day Amazon.com price history for that particular item.
The summary underneath shows what the highest price ever was on Amazon along with the date. It also shows the date and amount for the lowest-ever Amazon.com price. To spare all of us recovering math geeks from pulling out calculators or making our own spreadsheets, it gives us the average price, too. (Did you know that I was on my high school math team? You could earn a letter, as in a letterman’s jacket, in math team. Yeah, I was cool. Not.)
Now, friend, you wonder, “What difference does knowing the price history make?” Tons. You might buy the cheapest watermelon in January, but you‘d be better off waiting all together and buy it in July, right? In January you‘ll pay three times as much. Maybe you buy the watermelon in January anyway, but at least you‘ll do it informed. Informed = confident.
There you have it. You have two tools at your fingertips to help you know whether you should buy now or wait for a better price.
Your turn: What other tools do you use to help you know whether or not you’re getting a good price? I’m all ears.
Got some holiday shopping to do? Consider taking a look at our current deals for some great gift ideas.