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Shop Smart: Decoding Tricks Of The Retail Trade

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Whether we consider it “therapy”, “a sport”, or a necessity, shopping is a part of life. And, while for many of us, it can also be cathartic and lots of fun, the fun stops where the buck stops, with most of us looking for the best bargain our money can buy.

And, savvy shoppers know that is they shop around, they are likely to find a better deal. The question is why?

Well, according to experts, it’s all part of the paradigm of pricing and shopping and the more you know, the more money (and perhaps time) you can save.

· Note that the list price is basically just an opening bid, often referred to as the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), and is the most that a retailer is allowed to charge, a ceiling set by the manufacturer. Experts suggest using this price to gauge your comparison shopping and don’t be hesitant to ask a particular retailer to honor a legitimately lower price you found somewhere else.

· Take note of the item’s or product’s life cycle. Professionals point out that buying an item when it’s first displayed on the store shelves is probably not the best time to buy. Instead, they suggest waiting a few months and reap the financial rewards of significant reductions in price.

· Learn to differentiate between a “freshness date” and an “expiration date”. According to experts, a freshness date may often be a “gimmick” to get you to invest in more of the product by a certain time. They suggest paying more attention to the expiration date which actually lets you know how long the item is good for.

· Pay special attention to purchases that you only make once in a while. According to experts, these often, “big ticket” items are marked up to get you to pay more since you are likely less familiar with the pricing and haven’t been following the market value.

· Use your computer for comparison shopping. Log onto a comparison shopping search engine and get the best price for your purchase from various retailers before ordering or heading out to the stores to make your buy.

· Break things down before you buy. Professionals point out that retailers often offer a package deal as a method of “bundling” to get you to pay more. Before making your decision, break down the components, noting the cost for each and taking note of what you can save buy purchasing items individually.

· Be aware of popular pricing ploys. Experts suggest that because we read from left to right, it’s mentally more “appealing” to see 99 cents as opposed to $1.00 or $2.99 as compared to $3.00.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > Shop Smart: Decoding Tricks Of The Retail Trade

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