Receiving good value for your hard-earned money is not the easiest thing in the world. For starters, regardless of the type of product you want to purchase, you should always spend some time researching and comparing the prices of different retailers, both the brick-and-mortar ones and those which sell online. One very important thing to look for is the discounts offered by sellers, which can often amount to a significant percentage of the total product price.
How big a rebate you can get generally depends on the timing of your shopping. For example, buying winter clothes is most advantageous at the end of February or in March when winter is gradually replaced by spring, and retailers are dropping prices to shift any thick garments which are still unsold. The first week of January, right after the holiday shopping spree, is also a good time to make bargains, particularly at big chain stores.
Planning a vacation or business travel? Try to schedule it for Wednesday as many airline companies offer reduced fairs and discounts for this day of the week. Wednesday is a good day for grocery shopping as well as it is a markdown day, with stores offering their in-store specials. On Friday and Saturday, you can go shopping for clothing. The stores restock on Thursday for the weekend sales. And if you are planning to buy a car, go shopping from Tuesday to Thursday. Retailers don’t have many customers then and will most probably offer you a discount.
From whom you make your purchases is also very important. By buying a product directly from the manufacturer, you will spare yourself the middleman’s markup, which in some industry sectors can be quite chunky. It is always worthwhile to visit the manufacturer’s website and check if it doesn’t sell its products online and, in case it does, what postage it charges. Often, e.g. if the factory is close to your place of residence, the shipping costs will be negligible and the overall product price – really low.
When purchasing electronic equipment or other expensive goods, you should look for well-established brands which generally ensure better quality and durability for their products. Such companies also tend to provide better customer services and longer warranties that allow their customers to save on maintenance and repair costs.
Once you acquire a product, use and store it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prolong its life and make it really worth your money. If you have bought a large quantity of foodstuffs, for example, you should keep them in a cool and dark place to prevent them from spoiling. And if you have recently purchased a new car, you can save a lot of money by taking it to regular preventive checkups, instead of postponing the trip to the repair shop until some serious damage has occurred.
Of course, sometimes you may not receive the product you thought you would and will want to give it back. For this reason, it is always a good idea to get acquainted with the retailer’s return and refund policy before you make any purchase. Regardless of the seller’s terms, however, e.g. even if they stipulate that all sales are final, keep in mind that your consumer rights entitle you to return any item which you have received with defects or malfunctions. Some credit cards offer additional warranty when you buy certain products with them.
When returning a product, make sure you keep cool and remain polite throughout your conversation with the company representative. Remember that threats and rude exchanges will not help you replace the product or get your money back.