Is it Worth Your Time to Compare Prices?
Some people love the thrill of shopping for the best prices. They would be happy if they could save only few bucks since they enjoy the process anyway. However, most people find it boring, embarrassing or consider it waste of time. When you have strong opinions about something would you consider looking at the facts and figures and changing your view?
Facts and Figures of Shopping Around
About forty percent of people think shopping around for better deals is waste of time. And about ninety percent of consumers think that it is boring. Many people love shopping but they don’t want to look for lower prices when they find the item they want to buy. They just go ahead and make the purchase without checking if they are getting the best deal.
Furthermore, there is a misunderstanding about when you can save the most money. A new survey shows that many people think they save the most money when they are buying large ticket items like cars. However, they may actually be saving a lot more money when they are buying car insurance instead. There are a few points to look at when you are determining to see if it is worth your time. Here are the main points.
The first one is obviously the time. You may be able to get $1,000 savings but you may have to spend 20 hours to get it. So, your hourly savings would be $50. On the other hand you may save $500 within one hour. $500 is clearly less than $1000. However, when you think about how little it took you to get it you would see that second shopping was worth a lot more per hour of your time.
Most people shop for cell phone tariffs, cable TV packages, flights and hotel rooms. According to the survey, it takes about 100 minutes to shop for cell phone tariffs and you are likely to save about $180 pa, 150 minutes for cable packages and you are likely to save $250 pa. The savings may not be earth shattering but why most people wouldn’t mind shopping for better prices on these items?
Easiness and Online Availability
This brings us to the next criteria. Consumers are more willing to have a go when they think it is easy and they can check prices online. All of the above mentioned items can be shopped online and most frequent flyers have their favorite flight or hotel room comparison sites. In a way, they don’t have to compare the comparison sites anymore.
Also, these are the items they believe they have sufficient knowledge about. This makes it easier for them to get started. When the subject is as boring as auto insurance and complicated looking, they tend to lose interest and put it off. It may be irrelevant that they have a better chance of finding cheap automobile insurance rates. They are just not keen to have a go.
Possibility of Saving Enough Money
For most small items it is probably not worth your time to check around. You may save money but it wouldn’t be large enough to be worth your time. This thinking is generally accepted by most consumers. They feel obliged to shop around for the big ticket items like a refrigerator or a car. It really is hard to argue with this logic but it may mislead you.
Possibility of Repeating the Process
Many people would ignore using coupons and checking bargain shelves for reducing their grocery costs as the savings may look to be very little to chase. Actually, it is hard to see grocery shopping as small items. Collectively, they take up large space in our household budget. Another advantage of grocery shopping is that you can repeat the process week after week. So, knowing how you can find the bargains is valuable information.
Another item you can repeat the savings is petrol. All you have to do is find the cheapest petrol station near you and fill there each time. You may be only saving $1 on a shampoo but then, there is various vegetable, fruits, meat, egg, cheese, tomatoes, soap and hundreds of other items you buy every month. With a little effort you can easily save at least $100 per month and a lot more if you have large family.
It is difficult to say how much one person can save on a particular item and how long it takes. Everyone is different and live in a different environment. Nonetheless, most people can save a lot more money by making a habit of comparing prices. We spend hours watching funny cat videos on youtube. Maybe we could find the time to look at our spending and see how we could get more for our money?