How to Find the Best Price
Whether you’re shopping for gifts, everyday essentials or a fun splurge, we all love finding deals. Here’s how to find the best prices on just about anything.
January 17, 2022
We all love finding a good deal. Recent data suggests that over 88% of Americans use coupons when shopping.
The deal-hunting doesn’t end with coupons. One of the most popular deal sites, Slickdeals.net, gets around 50 million visitors each month flocking to the site looking for the latest and greatest deals and sales. These days, shoppers have more resources at their disposal than ever before. There are tons of tools and resources to help find items for less.
This guide will explore some of the biggest price comparison sites and deal sites to help you save on purchases.
Finding deals using deal websites
One of the best ways to find deals on an item you need is to wait for sales to pop up.
You can join the email newsletters of various companies you buy from, and they’ll notify you of sales.
Better yet, you can use a deal website to find discounted items. Some of the biggest price comparison sites include:
You can browse these sites to find good deals, navigate to certain categories or search directly for what you’re looking for.
SlickDeals even has the option to set up an email alert when something you are looking for goes on sale. For instance, you could set an alert for when the latest “Call of Duty” goes on sale for under $35. When that happens, SlickDeals emails you.
These companies earn money by making commissions on any sales through their platform. If you click on a link and end up purchasing something, the deals site earns a small commission from the retailer (at no cost to you).
Using coupon codes and savings plugins
Another way to score good deals is to use coupon codes. These may be retailer-specific (Nike offers a 15% discount on its website) or product-specific (Amazon offers a 30% discount on a specific toaster oven).
One of the easiest ways to find and use coupon codes is to install a browser extension like Honey or Capital One Shopping.
These services use an app on your internet browser that automatically searches for coupons while you shop.
For instance, if you add an item to your cart on a retailer’s website, Honey or C1 shopping will automatically search for and test dozens of coupon codes for that retailer. If the app finds a code that works, it’ll automatically apply it during checkout.
Alternatively, you can search for coupons manually using one of these sites:
These companies earn money through affiliate commissions paid for by the retailers. There is typically no cost to you to use these services.
Some companies may also earn money from selling data to advertisers. Have you ever seen an ad for a product shortly after researching it? A process called retargeting is responsible for this phenomenon.
There is generally no harm in retargeting techniques. But if you’re concerned about privacy, you can use your browser’s private browsing mode, which prevents most aspects of your web activity from being tracked.
Using cashback sites for online purchases
You may also be able to earn cashback on purchases you make online. To do this, start at a cashback website, and click through their links to the retailer’s website.
Some popular cashback websites include:
For instance, you may see that Top Cash Back is offering 10% back at a specific retailer. If you click on the link and purchase an item for $150, you’ll earn $15 cashback. It can take up to a few months for the cashback to be paid to you, but it’s a simple way to optimize your savings.
Note: Don’t use private browsing modes like incognito mode when using these sites. Doing so will prevent you from earning cashback. You may also want to disable your adblocker temporarily if you use one.
These companies are paid directly by retailers. So while they give you 10% cashback, the retailer may be paying them 12% back.
Buying used to save money
When we need something, we tend to first look at the store or Amazon. But for many items, buying pre-owned can save you a ton of money.
Sometimes the difference between buying new and used can be huge. For instance, a brand new exercise bike may cost you $800, while a similar model used might be a bargain sale find at $200.
Likewise, a brand new Subaru may run $35,000, while a 5-year-old model could cost just $20,000.
With a car, you can certainly tell the difference between new and used — and the wear and tear of the existing miles must be taken into account. Nonetheless, used vehicles can save you a lot of money, as can used items of any sort.
How to buy used
Buying used items is a bit different than purchasing something new.
For one, you’ll have to do a bit of digging to find the right item for you. In most cases, this involves using an online marketplace.
Popular used marketplaces include:
Some of these marketplaces offer shipping, while others focus on local, face-to-face sales.
If you prefer shopping in-person, there are still plenty of options for pre-owned items:
Most car dealerships have a used section
Thrift stores sell all types of used clothing, home goods and more
Specialty stores may stock used items (used clothing boutiques, used fitness equipment stores, etc.)
When buying used, it’s important to evaluate the quality of the item you are purchasing. Used cars should be inspected by a quality mechanic prior to purchase, while used clothing should be carefully checked for small holes and stains.
If you buy through a marketplace online, be sure to check the return policy, as well.
To sum up, here are four key strategies that go into finding the best price:
Finding deals using websites
Using coupon codes or savings plugins
Earning cash back through cashback sites
Buying pre-owned items
You can use any combination of these strategies, or figure out what works best for you through trial and error. Some may wish to put a lot of time and effort into finding deals, while others prefer to focus their energy elsewhere.
Just as savvy shopping can save you money, so can paying off your credit card debt. Tally† is a service that may help you do just that. Tally can help qualifying Americans get out of credit card debt faster while saving money on interest along the way.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. Based on your credit history, the APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% - 29.99% per year. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.