- Personal Finance
Steals and Deals - Do You Really Get a Bargain?
That will depend on what you are looking for, the merchants websites you discover and your timing.
Last year in early November I began researching for a business computer notebook to replace my existing equipment that was on its last “leg.” I had narrowed it down to three manufacturers and searched their website for specs before web surfing for the best bargain.
The past ten years or so I have own Gateway products so I started there also looking at HP and Acer.
History has taught me that the Christmas holiday season is a great time to buy just about any type of electronics. Each year it seems that the Christmas season starts earlier and earlier.
The best steals and deals generally are between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday with Black Friday being the busiest day especially for local retailers.
Personally I hate shopping locally during the holidays due to the crowds and parking, so most of my shopping is done online. Depending on the item you are searching for, you might find yourself sitting out in the cold very early in the morning waiting for the merchant to open it’s door.
Rather than waiting until Black Friday, I started pricing products a week earlier and noticed that many of the online retailers were actually starting their Christmas promotions on Thanksgiving Day instead of the day after on Friday.
I searched Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon and found the product I was looking for which ended up being an Acer Notebook. Amazon had the advantage since I wouldn’t have to pay shipping or sales tax.
However Amazon changed its price a few days earlier by $100, so I ended up buying the Acer from Wal-Mart online cheaper even after paying sales tax. Wal-Mart also offered free shipping so that kept my price down as well. If you select”Site to Store” option shipping is free on thousands of items and in my case shipping was also free for home delivery.
Speaking of shipping, Amazon offers a service called “Prime” which cost $79 annually; you receive free shipping on most items regardless of the cost for a full year. In addition “Prime” subscribers also receive free movie and TV streaming videos on their PC. Their selection isn’t as good as Netflix but the list is growing and they offer titles not available via Netflix.
If you are worried about online security issues, most credit card companies offer online purchase protection and if you setup an account with PayPal you get another layer of protection as the merchants do not see the actual financial details of the transaction such as your credit card or banking information.