(The following is an abbreviated transcription from a video Linda & I recorded. Please excuse any typos or errors.)
Today we’re talking about how to find the best price for things.
This actually comes from a listener question, which I will read.
“When you’re talking about how quick and easy it is to find the best price for something you’re planning on buying. I think a lot of us don’t have a good process for that and maybe helpful to share specific sites search engines that can help you do this because when you feel like you don’t have enough time or enough money, you just don’t have enough time to get to those things.”
We totally get that and we want to help you have a good process in place to help you not only find the best price on the items you’re wanting to purchase but we also want to share with you various ways we like to share money!
We recorded our discussion that you can listen on our Podcast, or you read the full transcription below:
Saving Money Shopping Online
Bob: So let’s talk a little bit about this. This is something that I geek out and nerd out on, so I’m excited to talk about it. And so my process has evolved over the years a little bit, but whenever I’m buying anything online, so there’s a couple of different tools that I use and we’ll have these linked up in the description.
But Ebates is a big one. And this is not necessarily in terms of. Finding the best price, but this is one of my favorites. So
Linda: Is it still called Ebates.
Bob: I’m sorry. They changed the name. It’s Rakuten now.
Bob: Yeah. Thanks for that.
Linda: You’re welcome!
Bob: Good catch. So yeah, they changed the name to Rakuten: R-A-K-U-T-E-N.
How It Works
Bob: And I’ve loved this tool because basically it’s a browser extension that you can put in your browser and It will do a couple different things. It’ll anytime you go to a website that uses, or that is connected with them, you literally just click a button and it’ll give you a percentage cash back on whatever you buy.
Linda: Yeah So I’ve gone to websites and. I mean, not even looking to save money, honestly. And this thing pops up and is do you want to save up to 40% or 6% or 2% or whatever it is, you click the button. It it looks like it redirects you, but it’s put, brings you back to the exact same page. And I guess that’s just so that,
Bob: So this sounds like a scam. I know that you hear that. It’s there’s no way you just click a button. If you I, I understand why it sounds like that, but like we’ve used it for what, probably seven years or something like that and get checks quarterly from them.
Linda: So what happens is…
Bob: Yeah, so the way that they make money, the way that this is legit is essentially.
These other sites that you are shopping on are paying Rakuten money to refer people to them. So for example, target.com. Target is like we want traffic. We want people to come to our site. So anyone who refers traffic to Target, Target is going to give them a kickback. So they give Rakuten the kickback and Rakuten just shares it with us. So it’s that simple.
Linda: Right. So, I mean, this is affiliate sales, right? And this is very common. I think that’s why you’re not freaked out by it is because you understand how it works. Being a, having been a blogger for so many years and influence or whatever.
Bob: Influencer, why does that term make me laugh? Anyway. So this is just one tool that I really, really like now this is not to help you find necessarily the best price, but to help get a better price. It’s really great at that.
Finding The Value Of An Item
Bob: In terms of finding the best price, like what I do, I whenever possible I buy something used because it’s always a better price than new. That’s obvious. We all know that. Now there are certain things I don’t want to buy use, and I don’t want to buy something. that’s a hunk of junk used.
Bob: But, eBay is the best place to go look, to see what the used value of an item is. Because it’s a worldwide market. So you can look on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or whatever, but it’s a localized market. So it’s a much smaller market. And there are certain items that just because there’s not as many buyers and sellers, you’re not going to get an accurate reflection of what that value of the item actually is. Whereas eBay, it’s the entire world buying and selling together. And so what you get is a pretty accurate representation of what something is.
Finding Items That Hold Value
So for example, this microphone right here. Shure SM7B it’s about $400 new. But if I go to eBay, I will be able to find out pretty much exactly what this microphone goes for used. It’s probably in the $250 to $300 range, I would guess. And that’s one of my favorite ways just to find out what is going for used.
In terms of buying things in general I tend to like to buy things that are going to hold their value because so many things lose all their value. Immediately. I bought this shirt, some no-name shirt. I will not be able to sell this for anything. But if this were a brand name shirt that were highly sought after, I might be able to sell this again on eBay.
So the same thing with this microphone, like there are plenty of microphones who could have got, I knew this was one that everybody loved. I’ve spent more on it than I would’ve liked. It was $400. for this crazy microphone. But, I know that when whatever, if I don’t need it any more, I can sell it back on eBay and get a good bit money out of it.
So that’s a little bit of my logic thought process behind all this.
Finding The Best Price
Linda: That’s still not getting the best price on something.
Bob: A little bit. I mean, well, we can dive in more.
But anyway, so I like going to eBay first to find out what it’s used and possibly buy used there. Now that’s also going to give me more information on how much the thing is worth used versus new.
And so if I go there in this mic is whatever $370 used is the best I can find. And then I can buy it new for $400. It’s well, I’m probably gonna spend $30 more and get the thing new to not take the quote risk of getting a used item. So that’s a little bit of a, how I process it.
Price Matching With Amazon – No Longer?
For a long time, many, many years ago, I feel like Amazon was really good about having the best price. Because they had a price matching thing where if they found any item that was priced lower, anywhere else on the internet, they would lower their price to match it so that they were always the lowest price. I found that that just isn’t true anymore. And there’s a lot of times where there are items elsewhere on the internet that are cheaper than Amazon. And especially in person.
Linda: Such a great feature. I’m sad they took that away.
Bob: Well… I’m not because it’ll be the downfall of them, which I’m excited about.
Linda: Which is so funny, because we have used Amazon.
Bob: No, I know, but they’ve gotten too big. I’m scared of them. They, they need some healthy competition. And anyway, so that’s a little bit of how I process through.
Finding Price History On Amazon
Bob: A couple of other interesting tools. Camel Camel Camel is a website.
Linda: [00:06:32] I’ve never heard of this.
Bob: [00:06:33] Yeah CamelCamelCamel.com It’s weird name, but if you go there, they will give you the price history of a particular item on Amazon.
So if you are going to buy it from Amazon, you can see this mic, how much it costs right now on Amazon and how much it cost in the past, because the prices are always changing on Amazon. And so, You see every Thanksgiving or Black Friday, they dropped the price by about 25%. It’s like, all right, well, that’s coming up in two weeks. Maybe I’ll just wait and I’ll get it then, because I know it’ll be a lot cheaper. Or maybe in the Spring, lawn and garden stuff is a lot cheaper.
So you’ll be able to look at this website and see. And then additionally, they’ll send you email alerts. And so if you want to be alerted when this mic that is now for $400 on Amazon, if it ever goes down to $300, you would get email alert, they will send you an email alert as soon as it drops at that price. And then you can go buy it at that price.
So it just a tool, helpful tool to do that a little bit and find a good price on items.
Saving Money On Clothes
Linda: For clothes, I can touch on clothes if you want me to. So you’ve bought a lot of stuff actually off eBay. You can get brand name stuff on there pretty easily.
Linda: If you’re looking for a specific brand, like you bought a Brooks Brothers coat.
Bob: Oh yeah. This was a fun one. So I bought this was back when I was working in corporate America and needed to wear dress clothes every day. And so I was shopping around for some sort of overcoat to go over my sport, coat and suit and all this stuff in cold St. Louis Winter.
Don’t Settle For “Cheaper”
And so I was looking at, I don’t know, Macy’s or somewhere and looking all right, how much does it, is it going to cost me to get some sort of overcoat? And I was looking there, it was like $150 or $200. It was kind of like what I was going to need to spend to get the thing. And I didn’t really like the coat.
Linda: It was a little bit cheap, you know.
Bob: Yeah, it just, wasn’t real great. And I’m like this isn’t going to last, it’s a no-name brand. Which again, I don’t care about the brand for the sake of the brand. I just care about it holding value. And so I was looking at this and then I thought, you know what, I’m going to go on eBay and look at some really nice brands. So I went and looked up and found this Brooks Brothers coat overcoat, top coat thing that was $800 new.
And I bought it off eBay for a hundred dollars. And, and I was so excited about that. Cause I just bought this really nice quality overcoat for less money than I would’ve paid for the cheapest thing at Macy’s. And what I just bought is so much better than the thing that I would have bought at Macy’s.
Bob: Better quality all the way around. And then on top of that, it’s still going to hold its value.
Bob: And so five years from now, once I finished with this, I’m going to be able to sell the thing for probably close to what I paid for it. And that is what I love. That’s what I’ve never done.
No, I think I give it to your brother. I think I ended up giving it away. But that’s what I get really excited about is when I can do something like that, get something that’s so much better quality for the same amount or less money than I would the cheaper thing,.
Linda: Yeah. So, if you’re looking for something that’s, that’s, that’s a, that’s a really good one.
Pay Attention To Sale Cycles
Yeah. And also, I worked at anthropology for, I don’t know, a few months over Christmas one year. And, I was astounded by how fast they put things on sale, it was really like three or four weeks
Bob: So we would come in new and three or four weeks later it’s on sale?
Linda: I mean, it wasn’t very long and I don’t think everything goes. I think there are definitely some things that sell out.
Bob: Do you think it’s like that across all retail?
Linda: I think…
Bob: Or, just specific to Anthro?
Linda: I think it’s probably pretty close, especially with the fast fashion we have going on right now.
Never Pay Full Price
Yeah. And then there’s other stores like Gap where it’s you should never ever pay full price for anything at Gap.. Yeah. It’s 40% off of everything so often. So I would just watch for those and really Anthropology has 25% off a lot and yeah. So I just I am one of those people where I just don’t pay full price for stuff, because…
Bob: That’s my girl.
Linda: Because you just don’t have to, if you just have this much patience, like tiny amount of patience it will be on sale for something.
Saving Money On Groceries
Bob: Yeah. So yeah, I mean, there’s a million different directions. We can go with this with different items, but I will say that it’s a lot of people are curious about groceries and saving money on groceries. And there’s an interview, I think it was one of our first couple of podcasts we released about how to save money on groceries.
And this, I found to be really helpful. We interviewed money saving expert on this and she shared some ideas and I’m like, Whoa, I had no idea. And I still think about them to this day. We recorded that interview like seven years ago or something.
Linda: Who was it with?
Bob: Carrie Rocha.
Anyway, there’s a lot of good, I mean really just a couple really good tips. It’s not like a million, but just some mindset shifts on how you shop for groceries, that it still to this day saved us money when we go to store. So those are some of my favorite tips that come to mind.
And as always, if you have any questions, like I love answering questions, shoot them over to us. Instagram, you can send us a DM.
Linda: Can you link everything or how do we how do they?
Bob: Well, we’ll try to have everything linked up in the description.
Bob: And yeah, send us questions. We love hearing from you. And leave us a review on the iTunes store or anywhere else that you’re listening to podcasts. That’s super helpful for us.
And we love you. We cherish you. We value you. We’re praying for you. You’re awesome. And we’ll see you in the next one.
Linda: See ya!