GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Still shopping for the holidays? You’re not alone. But just because you’ve waited, doesn’t mean you have to pay more. We sat down with the folks at Consumers’ Checkbook to see how to still score some decent deals and got some tips that could be useful beyond the holidays.
First of all, be aware, because sometimes a sale isn’t really a sale.
“They're being dishonest with you about that discount, in that the price that they've crossed out, and they say they're discounting from, a lot of retailers have never charged that price. It's not a price any retailer has charged. It's called a fake anchor price. It's something businesses use to make it seem like you're getting a great deal but in fact you're not,” says Kevin Brasler with Consumers’ Checkbook.
That means you need to shop around. Now, we know what you’re thinking…there’s no time to shop around! But maybe there is.
"There are a lot of websites these days that try to look around the web and aggregate prices to spit out the best ones for you. There's one called BuyVia, there's another one called Honey. PriceGrabber has been around for a long time. ShopSavvy is another one,” he says.
“A lot of these apps that help you comparison shop, they have barcode scanners built into them, so if you're in a store, you can use the app to scan the barcode, and then it will go look around the web to see if you can buy it from a different retailer for less,” says Brassler.
If you find a lower price, ask the store you're in to price-match, they often will. And if you're shopping online, do yourself a favor and look for a promo code. It's literally as simple as doing an internet search for the store you're trying to buy from and the words promo code.
“Now, a lot of these old codes, they don't work, but I find that you enter three or four of them they don't work, but one does, that only takes a minute or so and often the savings are big,” he says.
Liking or following a retailer on social media can sometimes offer up deals and signing up for their emails will usually get you at least a onetime code. And don’t forget to ask for the discount you’ve earned.
“If you are over the age of 50 ask if there's a senior discount. If you're a member of the military, or your spouse is a member of the military, or veteran, ask if there's a discount for that. Students and teachers should absolutely ask for a discount,” says Brasler.
There's also a belief out there, that if you buy local, you'll have to pay more. Brasler says that's simply not true anymore. And when you shop local, you're also supporting the people in your community, and we all know how hard they’ve been hit in the pandemic.