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Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everythingby Tom Philbin
Synopses & Reviews
There are a variety of strategies and marketing tricks that you should be aware of to enhance your abilities as a shopper. Knowing these will, of course, help you get products and services at a healthy discount. The following is a roundup of sixteen of these from the authors' own experiences and from industry insiders.
SHOPPING TIP #1:
in shopping around, your goal, of course, is to find out who is selling the product or service you want the cheapest, and to gather those prices. Your three tools are the telephone, the Internet, and the yellow pages. All are invaluable sources for determining the cost of the product or service from various companies.
We find the telephone works quite well. And please don't believe the myth that retailers won't give you prices over the phone. The vast majority will. And why not? The bottom line is the bottom line: They want to make money, and they'll facilitate that any way they can.
Just call, ask if they have the item (or service), and then ask the price. It is important to know exactly what you want so you can transmit it to the seller in language he or she understands. In some cases--such as with bath fixtures, light fixtures, and power tools-- knowing the model number will be essential, and that is something you can get from the manufacturer's website, flyers, or catalog. In almost all cases we predict that you will get the price easily, particularly in these recessionary times. Yet if you are chary about being so direct, then you can be a little more artful in your query. Following is one good technique.
First, ask if the retailer if he or she has such-and-such a product. Even if you know that they do, play dumb.
When they say yes, then you say:
How much would that cost?
You'll usually get the answer instantly, although sometimes the retailer will go off the phone to check the shelves or the rack to get the price. Sometimes, when they won't give the price (a rare occurrence), I use another technique: I would really appreciate knowing the cost. I don't want to travel over there if I can't afford it.
Don't ask us why they usually give the price information when you ask about the product availability. Maybe it's because the focus of the first question is not on price but product, and maybe it's because you don't make it sound like you know precisely about such things. Either way, it's a technique we've used successfully for many years.
PRICE COMPARISONS VIA THE INTERNET
The Internet is a gold mine when it comes to comparison shopping. A number of sites, such as www.bizrate.com and www.pricegrabber.com, allow you to make comparisons for just about any product. Prices should be used only as benchmarks, because a company's return policy and shipping charges can add considerably to what may appear to be a very low price. However, these Web comparisons give you a good place to start. In addition, you can often go the manufacturer's site and find a complete description, spec sheet, a list of what is included with a purchase, etc. In addition you can find reviews and user comments at other websites. Often typing in the make and model of a product into Google will yield a wealth of information.
Offers shopping advice and money-saving strategies for such areas as grocery shopping, health care, necessities, emergencies, home improvements, travel, and entertainment.
In today’s uncertain economy, if using a little buying savvy can get you small- or even big-ticket items at a cheaper price, can you afford not to do it? Now, with this handy, accessible guide, Rick Doble–a veritable king of haggling–and consumer expert Tom Philbin share the secrets to paying less on a variety of products and services, from cars, cellphones, and food to home improvement and banking. Through anecdotes and lively vignettes, Cheaper offers industry insider tips that will give you the edge before you even open your wallet.
• Save up to 14 percent a year on gas by doing one easy thing.
• Save $1,000 and more at your local supermarket just by knowing where to look.
• Don’t assume you can’t get a discount on something. Always ask.
• Remember: The imperfect find can lead to the perfect deal.
• Complain the right way and get exactly what you want.
Save money on just about everything–candy, computers, funerals, furniture, travel–and discover little-known insider secrets and tricks of the trade. So stop paying too much, and make the most of your money!
About the Author
RICK DOBLE is the king of haggling and has been teaching people how to save money on his website, in his newsletter, and in magazines for fifteen years. He lives in Smyrna, North Carolina.
TOM PHILBIN writes both fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of How to Hire a Home Improvement Contractor Without Getting Chiseled and other books on saving money. He lives in Centerport, New York.
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