Next time you are having supper with your friends and there’s a slump in conversation topics, ask people about the biggest bargain they have ever bought. And then fill everyone’s glasses, as you’re probably in for some fantastic stories.
When it comes to bargain hunting, sheer luck sometimes comes into play such as being at the right place, at the right time. But for those of us that aren’t fortune tellers, here are 10 ways on how you can become a bargain hunter.
Don’t be intimidated by sales consultants
Sales consultants have been trained to make you feel like you have to prove something. Who cares if the sales consultant thinks you’re cheap? You are and you are proud of it.
Be alert & aware
In short, never stop searching for bargains. Get into the habit of listening to what others say, use recommendations and regularly check adverts online. Watch out for adverts of auctions, closing down sales, and seasonal specials. Sometimes shops have bulk merchandise to move and they are prepared to let it go for low prices. A really good bargain will be gone quickly, so you have to be on the ball.
Be smart & savvy
Don’t buy trouble. Steer clear from the cheap washing machine that doesn’t spin properly, or the car with a grinding gearbox regardless of how cheap it might be. You could be purchasing a bottomless pit of endless repairs. If something looks too good to be true, be sure that it’s definitely the case.
Don’t lose your cool at sales
People go into ‘crazy mode’ at sales, because that’s what retailers want you to do. And they achieve this by telling you something is a bargain and it won’t be available at this price ever again. Remember that items are on sale because they weren’t selling in the first place. The skirts with the funky colours or the slightly odd-shaped bowls are not bargains, regardless of the price, because they are going to end up unused at the back of your cupboard.
Keep calm – it is auction time
Auctions are places where a fool and his money are soon parted. If your heart is set on something, your emotions and ego could take over and you could end up paying much more for something than it is worth, because someone else was bidding against you. Remember that some dodgy auction houses employ ‘ghost bidders’ to increase selling prices. Decide beforehand what the absolute maximum price is that you would pay for something, and stop bidding when it goes beyond that.
This always gives you strong negotiating power, especially when it comes to big items such as houses and cars. If the buyer competing with you will only know in two weeks’ time if he has been granted a loan, they are not in a strong position. With cash in hand you get to push the price down, because the seller is wanting this painful process to be over and he wants his money. Carry a small deposit if you can afford it.
Browse through online deals
This is where real bargains are to be found these days. Check out online sellers that will deliver items. Scour online classifieds regularly for what you want but be patient has these adverts are updated every hour of the day.
Don’t buy anything you haven’t seen, and always see if you can negotiate the price. Take care when meeting sellers or buyers. Online scams are rife, so do be extra careful.
Phone before you go to the store
Petrol is expensive and phone calls are not. Phone around and compare prices before you get into your car and go to the shops. One phone call can save you a fortune. Call to see if something is in stock before you hit the road.
Work on your negotiation skills
Don’t be shy to do this, especially with pre-owned and bigger items such as cars and houses. Most shops won’t negotiate, but many private sellers will. Just don’t look too eager. If a seller senses that you really like something, they know you’ll buy it anyway. Comment on some flaw and make them think that you might still change your mind. It’s done all the time. Make a ridiculously low offer and work your way up from there, but don’t go beyond your maximum pre-decided price.
Shop at second-hand stores and flea markets
‘You can’t build a bargain, but you can certainly buy one’. It’s very difficult to buy something new that is a bargain. Pre-owned cars, appliances, furniture and thousands of other things are sold at a fraction of what they cost new. But stay away from faulty stuff that could cost a fortune to fix.
Being a bargain hunter takes time and effort, but it means you will usually get more for your money. So use these 10 ways to become a bargain hunter: Don’t be intimidated by sales consultants, always be alert and aware of sales, be a savvy buyer, don’t lose your cool at sales, keep calm at auctions, carry cash when going to private sales, browse online deals, phone before you go to the store, work on your negotiation skills and shop at second-hand stores and flea markets.