There are many best practices to ensure you’re spending your money in a smart and conservative manner. Grocery shopping on a full stomach, avoiding peak-year shopping times like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, price matching, buying in bulk, and buying used products are all ways you can save money while shopping. Another way to save is to take a bit more time in planning your shopping trip and comparing prices. With a little research, you can meet your budgeting needs more effectively and save money shopping.
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Best Price Comparison Sites
At first glance comparing prices might seem intimidating. You’ll need to look at products from various retailers, whether they’re online, in-store, or on flyers that come to your doorstep. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about finding the product listings in different formats because there are websites that compile the products for you and show you the prices from various retailers. Here are some of the best price comparison websites.
|Specializes in Price Comparison For|
|Price Grabber||No Specialization – Covers all products|
|PriceBat||Computers and electronics|
|PriceFinder||Computer gear and accessories|
|Bizrate||No Specialization – Covers all products|
Price Grabber originated in the United States but has become a popular price comparison website for Canadians, and recently added a UK website to their service. They compare a vast array of products from various categories, including electronics, appliances, clothing, furniture, books, media, and more. Price Grabber also has a strong filter section where you can select products to view based on their colour, brand, software, etc.
PriceBat specializes in comparing prices for electronics and computers. Although the product categories are limited, the specificity allows the website to offer the most comprehensive comparisons of computers and electronics, including individually-sold products on eBay. It’s also great at finding deals with smaller lesser-known stores.
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ShopBot was created over 15 years ago in France but has become a popular comparison site for Canadians. This is due to their user-friendly interface, strong search engine, as well as their specialty in electronics price comparisons. Recently, ShopBot has started offering comparisons on other products in health and beauty, pets, motors and toys. Moreover, unlike some of the listed comparison websites, ShopBot has one of the cleanest and advanced websites out there, which makes for a pleasant experience.
While PriceFinder lists products from a wide range of categories, their website isn’t the most user-friendly. Their home page shows random products that a visiting user might not be interested in and doesn’t display a wide range of categories unless you use the search engine. Moreover, the site lists products vertically, making it less seamless to compare the price. However, if you’re looking for specific computer equipment or accessory, PriceFinder can be a good choice. They have a number of listings for computer gear from smaller lesser-known Canadian electronic stores.
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Bizrate offers price comparisons particularly relevant to Canadian audiences. Currently, big retailers like Amazon and Walmart are the main participants of the site. You can compare products from a wide variety of categories including apparel, game, tech, appliances, and many more. With Bizrate, you can also set up alerts on products you’re interested in. That way if the price drops, you’ll be the first to know.
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How Can These Price Comparison Sites Help You?
Price comparison websites take care of the brunt of the work for you. Their features allow you to search for specific brands and products, and to browse for products through the different categories. You also have the option to filter your search with price indicators, brand and manufacturer, store, and more. By compiling all the requested products for you neatly on one page and comparing the price at different retailers, it becomes easy for you to make a decision on where to buy a certain product.
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Moreover, price comparison websites are a great tool for those who are on a budget or those who like to save. By comparing prices and placing alerts on different products, you’re bound to save money. While some purchases may only save you a couple of dollars, others may save you a few hundred. That saved money can then be invested or put towards an emergency fund. If you’re on a budget or saving for a down payment, tools like these can help accelerate the process.
Tips on Savings Money
Apart from comparing prices on the above websites, there are other tips and tricks you can use to help you save money.
Double Cash Back
In general, credit cards offer cash back or points as an incentive to make purchases with their credit cards. But, did you know you can earn double cash back or double in credit card points? Double cash back reaps the benefits of your credit card’s cashback and pairs it with cash back from a website like Rakuten. For example, if you make a purchase using Rakuten, you’ll not only earn cash back through your credit card, but you’ll earn a certain percentage (up to 30%) of cash back through Rakuten.
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Price matching allows a consumer to get the best price possible by showing a retailer a flyer or pamphlet advertising a competitor’s lower price of the same product. Many retailers guarantee a price match, like No Frills, Best Buy, and Canadian Tire. Remember, however, that some retailers are quite picky when it comes to price matching. You will often need to provide the retailer with not only an identical product but also an identical product number. The product must also be in stock at the time of the price match.
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Shipping costs, especially if you are buying an international product, can tack on anywhere between $10 and $100 to your price. To avoid paying steep shipping fees, look for websites that offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount of money. Another way to avoid shipping is to see if free shipping is included in a retailer’s membership package. Depending on how often you shop with that retailer, the cost of membership might be worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are price comparison sites actually helpful?
If I use a price comparison website, do I make a purchase through their website?
Which price comparison website should I use to compare laptop prices?
Shopping can cost a lot of money, especially if you don’t do your research. Visit price comparison websites and make a habit of taking a little extra time in planning your purchases to give yourself the most possible savings.