Some people have convinced themselves that one particular retailer has the lowest price and that can cost you money unless you shop around. You should never assume anything. This is why price comparison websites can be useful to find the best deal for your purchase.
People have convinced themselves that Walmart has the lowest prices and I have shopped there a lot during the pandemic since in many cases they do. Nevertheless, sugar and flour were cheaper for me at ALDI once I double checked the price for each. But even with that, what’s the size of the item is what can be the deciding factor when considering the best price. Standard four pound bags of sugar for me at ALDI were $2.95 and at Walmart it was $3.28. Nonetheless, Walmart has a 10-pound bag that’s less expensive than ALDI on a per pound basis.
Yet, you may be wondering what to do with all that sugar? One suggestion is to store it in several containers or share with another family member or friend? Of course, you can just buy the smaller four-pound bag at that lower cost.
Retailers try to portray themselves as the cheapest places to buy from. As a result, they lead you in with loss leaders like a sale item and then while you are there, they make it up gouging you on other stuff. I was at Shop and Save the other day and they had the 38.6 oz can of Maxwell House coffee for $14.96 and at Walmart they had a 42.5 oz container of the same coffee for $10.48. In the end Shop and Save beat them with a sale on a 30.6 oz can for $4.99. Shop and Save is a smaller supermarket and they had lower prices.
What Are Price Comparison Websites and How They Work to Compare Prices
A price comparison website is a website that allows users to compare the prices of different products or services across various retailers or providers. Price comparison websites can help users save money, find the best deals, and make informed purchasing decisions. Some examples of price comparison websites are:
Yahoo Shopping: A website that allows users to browse and compare products from hundreds of online retailers, and find the lowest prices, best discounts, and free shipping offers. Users can also read product reviews, ratings, and buying guides from experts and other shoppers. Yahoo Shopping also features daily deals, coupons, and gift ideas for various occasions.
CamelCamelCamel: A website that tracks the price history of millions of products sold on Amazon.com, and will alert users when the prices drop. Users can also view the current and historical prices of any product, create price watch lists, and find the best time to buy or sell. CamelCamelCamel also offers browser extensions and mobile apps for easy access.
Pronto: A website that helps users find the best prices on millions of products from thousands of online stores. Users can also discover new products, read reviews, compare features, and get personalized recommendations based on their preferences. Pronto also offer coupons, other deals, and cash back rewards for shopping online.
Google Shopping: A website that lets users searches for products from thousands of online and local stores, and compares prices, features, reviews, and ratings. Users can also filter their results by categories, brands, conditions, and other criteria. Google Shopping also integrates with Google Ads and Google Merchant Center, allowing merchants to promote their products and drive more traffic to their websites.
You can’t use shopping comparisons sites on every item you buy. You will make mistakes, but over time you will become more aware of prices in a general way to soon start getting better prices. You’ll start to remember who typically has the cheapest price but you have to keep an eye on them since prices change.
Stores like Amazon, which being online for the most part really is complex because of the vast number of vendors and items, different shipping policies to compare. In fact, there was recently a case filed by 17 states’ attorney general and the FTC claiming Amazon used their power to stifle competition, inflate prices, suppress innovation. I heard on the radio a story about them and a 50% Amazon tax they supposedly hit Amazon sellers with. I can’t believe some sellers were paying that much to Amazon. I can’t believe it’s everything. But some smaller item probably they did take a huge commission.
For example, I bought ink for my printer on Amazon from a seller called House of Toner. They shipped fast and free and I went back to Amazon to buy more ink and House of Toner was gone. They didn’t close them, but they just left Amazon. Apparently, Amazon punishes retailers selling their product cheaper elsewhere. And I noticed on Amazon my ink was even more expensive from other sellers. Fortunately, I found House of Toner’s website and even their Ebay store. They even still had free shipping!
This isn’t unique either. Google will rank shopping and websites to benefit their advertisers at the expense of consumers. All I can say is that they are in business to make money. You have to watch the review sites as much as the retailers themselves.
Think of it as a war over your dollars. Retailer and websites will use every trick in the book to get your money.