In the information age, trying to find the best deal can feel overwhelming amongst a sea of options. By the same token, however, the wealth of online tools now at our fingertips has empowered the consumer perhaps more than ever. We look at three of the most sure-fire ways to attain the best possible deal.
Perhaps the most obvious method is the use of comparison engines which allow the user to compare prices across a range of competitors. These engines can be used for almost every imaginable product from car insurance to grocery shopping. They can even be useful for recreational activities such as online gambling as they can help to find the best sign-up offers available. For example, BonusFinder offers convenience and clarity on casino bonuses online. In any transaction, it is worth considering a quick comparison site check before confirming it.
Several sites also include add-on tools that incorporate their price-checking system into your browser allowing for near-instantaneous comparison for the price of any given product. These tools allow for ease of access and represent both a huge time and money saver. In some cases, however, comparison engines won’t include particular competitor sites in order to avoid promoting them. In these scenarios it is important for the savvy consumer to engage with a variety of comparison tools if they are truly determined to find the best possible deal.
Developing a keen eye for artificial discounts
So often consumers are alerted to flashy offers of ‘50% off’ or even more, yet these marketing tools don’t always reflect reality. If you feel suspicious about a supposed discount, it is always sensible to check the manufacturer’s website directly. For electronics, for example, consumers could use the Apple website to confirm the full retail price of their particular products.
A falsely inflated discount doesn’t necessarily equate to a bad deal but a level of caution is always recommended. Product history sites like CamelCamelCamel act as price trackers which can be used to give a truer reflection of the real extent of advertised discounts. These websites will provide a chart of a product’s price history on Amazon and provide the user with an insight into the historic low-point in value of a product. A thorough approach to research will allow the buyer to make an informed decision about the real nature of any given discount.
Analyzing user reviews
In achieving a good deal, it is also of course important to ensure the quality of the product in question. User reviews are the most simple way of quickly deducing this, but they can sometimes be deceiving. As a rule of thumb, it can be helpful to discount the reviews which tend to be the most effusive as well as the most critical reviews at the other end of the scale. These reviews can sometimes reflect a lack of balanced thought and may not provide the most accurate description of a product’s quality. Instead, reading a selection of the more middling reviews can be an effective way to access properly-researched reviews that provide real balance.
Of course, this isn’t to say that bad reviews always reflect a lack of thoughtfulness because recurring complaints are usually a strong sign of a particular inherent issue. It is imperative to identify which aspects of the product are most important to you and then cross-reference this with general opinion. If you value battery life in a laptop over anything else, for example, and reviews tend to praise this aspect of the product then perhaps criticism of its start-up time can be forgiven. What may be a problem for some, may not be an issue for you or others.
It is fundamental to research thoroughly to achieve the best possible deal, whether this means discovering the lowest possible price or working out which particular product is most suitable for your needs. The technological advancements of comparison tools have taken much of the leg-work out of trawling through page after page of product information, making it easier than ever to spot a bargain. Whoever said comparison is the thief of joy certainly never shopped around.