Time to get a new washing machine? The kids need some new clothes? Want to surprise the spouse with a nice wedding anniversary gift? Well, if money is not an issue, getting these things is not a problem.
However, if the family needs to stretch every dollar it has, some smart shopping tips will come in handy. Here are some useful buying tips for families to get great bargains.
Compare Prices and Ask for a Bargain Before Shopping
It’s important to know the value of goods before buying them. Visiting stores and checking out catalogues and flyers help. However, there’s an even better approach to compare prices. Consumers can use comparison sites such as Shopferret.com.au and GetPrice.com to see the market prices for all kinds of goods such as clothes, toys and games, electronics, children’s furniture, fragrances and beauty products as well as CDs and books.
Once the shopper gets to the store, she doesn’t always have to settle for what’s on the price tag. Ask for a discount. This is particularly important when buying larger items such as TVs, refrigerators or big furniture. Ask for even better deals if more items are going to be purchased. Some shops give free or cheaper deliveries if there are big purchases. But be sure to ask for these perks.
Buy Only During Sales
There are sales constantly throughout the year. So don’t buy anything when the “Sales” signs are nowhere to be seen. In Australia, major retailers such as Myer, David Jones, Target, K-Mart and Big W have promotions and sales nearly every other month while fashion houses often have end-of-season sales and new season discounts. Supermarkets too have their own sale cycles.
Sign up for the loyalty programmes offered by retailers to receive alerts on upcoming sales. Another great way to check for sales is through the Internet. Great sites that list sales include the SalesGuide, CatalogueCentral and MissyConfidential websites. Also, don’t throw away junk mail. Scan through the flyers to see if there are sales for things that the household needs.
Use Loyalty Programmes and Credit Card Benefits
All major retailers have their own loyalty programmes where members get extra discounts, gift vouchers and gifts with purchases. While there’s no need to join every loyalty programme in town to save money, it helps to be a VIP member of shops that the family frequently buys from. A very good place to start checking out the myriad loyalty programmes is Perkler.com, which lists hundreds of such cards across Australia.
Credit cards too come with perks. Users can use them to collect bonus points to redeem gifts or vouchers. Some even offer instant rewards to their holders when they purchase at selected shops. However, do use credit cards wisely. Use them to buy only things that are needed and pay off the credit card debt in full before its due date.
Purchase From Factory Outlets
Driving around industrial areas is a good exercise for households looking for great bargains – there are often warehouse sales, clearance stores and factory outlets with out-of-season items or ex-sales stocks. It’s possible to find branded goods in these outlets as well. Some items may have some slight defects but these are often not very visible. Consumers can often get branded goods at a fraction of the market price.
However, some of these factory outlets usually have very strict returns policy. Some may even state that goods sold are not returnable. So choose items carefully before paying for them.
Buying Tips for Households
To save money, families can learn some useful shopping tips. Before even leaving the house, search the Internet to know the market prices of goods. Compare prices first. Buying only during sales and promotions, using loyalty programmes and purchsing from factory outlets are also great ways to score good bargains.