So lets dive into a rule here. The Saving Thousands Rules are all about helping you save money and being an empowered consumer, right? Lets talk about how we can put that into practice.
Rule number one is something that everyone can use almost daily. For those who are not as familiar with the rules as other, rule 1 reads as, “Always shop around- for all purchases.” This might sound simple, but it is one that we often forget.
Stores, banks, and other services have figured out how to make us forget about this rule. How? Make it simple and convenient! They have realized that if they make it easy for us, we will forget that they are taking advantage of us. We think our time is so precious that we don’t have time to shop around for the best price or rates. That is absolutely and positively untrue!
They also believe if they use certain gimmicks, you will fall for it. I have to admit, I have fallen for them before. You often see things like free shipping, 10% off, or money back guarantee. Sure these things sounds great and comforting. But most of the time they are jacking the prices up to cover these costs.
Here are some easy ways to execute Saving Thousands Rule #1 and get the best price for you:
Don’t Shop Directly Through the Company
Of course they are going to say they offer the best price, they are trying to get your money. They make it flashy and provide all the information you think you need when deciding on your purchase. They might offer a comparison of other prices, but their price will always be one of the top two, if not the top one. And if they say they aren’t the best they will offer you some kind of deal, or what you think is a deal. Truth is, they are only comparing against prices they know they can beat.
Use a credible website that effectively compares different companies or products. Most of these sites also provide actual customer feedback and allow consumers to talk about their experience. In most cases you will learn from someone’s experience with a company that says they offer an amazing deal.
Check the information and reviews on a third party site, like the one you can find here. From there you can check the individual companies/products and make the best decision for you.
Use Online Communities and Forums
This is where you can get great information. Get first hand insight from those who have used these services or products. The fact is, you really won’t know the quality of the product or service until you make the purchase. But, in an online community or forum you can learn from others experiences. Here is a great place to start.
One of the best things about these communities is you can have most of your questions answered.
Ask how an auto insurance company responded after a wreck. Did their rates shoot up? Did they get dropped altogether?
Ask how someone find the best deal on a hot product. Where did they find it? Were there hidden fees that you didn’t know about? Is it a reliable product?
You can use these communities to gain a lot of information before making any type of financial commitment.
I am going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, it is not a secret. Robert Palmer talks about this all the time. Companies, stores, big financial corporations are hedging their bet that you are not going to read and educate yourself. What is even worse, they are right most of the time.
All of the companies know they can tell you something and you will believe them, or not even read up on it. They can offer you what seems like a deal with big flashy words and graphics, and you will think you are getting the best deal.
Don’t fall for it. It might take a little elbow grease and time, but do your own investigating. Call them and ask for all of the details. Get them to provide paperwork and examples. Do whatever you can to get all of the dirty details. You will find that underneath all of the big flashy deals, they are hiding fees and other things that are going to sneak up on you.
They will quickly become uncomfortable with the situation. Why? They know they will have to spill the beans. Also because they never have to answer these questions. Put them on the spot. You will find that it is all smoke in mirrors, most of the time.
Shop Around, Trust Me
Seriously, shop around when making a purchase, applying for a credit card, getting insurance, whatever may be. Definitely shop around when you are committing to something. You may apply for financing with 0% down, but later get hit with an outrageous interest amount. You may think you are getting on awesome deal on a used vehicle, later to find that you will have to pay more in repairs than the car is worth, so if you are shopping around for used cars such as this b2600, make sure to do your research that the car is in safe running condition.
If you have anymore question about Saving Thousands Rule 1, just ask RP. It pays to shop around, I promise.