“A penny saved is a penny earned”

August 21, 2009

Written by wukovits

In my line of work, I need a lot of different types of technology items, and going to the nearest Best Buy or Office Depot can turn out to be quite a costly trip.  Sometimes, the need or urge for a specific item demands for immediate gratification with a trip to the store.  However, if waiting a couple of days can be an acceptable option, then shopping online can definitely save you quite a bit of money.  Today, I thought I’d share my favorite websites for finding deals on the things I need (or just really want).

Oftentimes, after doing a bit of research or getting a recommendation on a specific item, you want to find the best price for said item.  For example, if I want a programmable universal remote like the Logitech Harmony One, and I’ve tried out my friend’s, so I know it is exactly what I “need”, then I’m ready to buy.  If I were to visit our nearest Best Buy, this remote would cost me $249.99 before tax.  Instead, I visit PriceGrabber (https://www.pricegrabber.com) and search for the same item, “Logitech Harmony One”, which yields a number of results from different online merchants.  The best price I found is $199.99, including tax and shipping.  That’s a savings of over 20%, which is pretty substantial when you are trying to survive in this economy.  PriceGrabber isn’t just for technology though; you can bargain hunt for furniture, clothing, sporting goods, and other things you can’t live without.  Helpful product reviews are available if you haven’t decided which product you need, and merchant reviews can tell you how other shoppers found their experience.

Another site I frequently use for similar bargain hunting is PriceWatch (https://www.pricewatch.com), where I typically look for deals in computer memory (RAM) or hard drives.  I find that this site accesses a great number of smaller online merchants, where their prices can be a bit cheaper thanks to lower overhead costs.  The site isn’t as visually attractive as PriceGrabber, but the “no-frills” design is effective when you’re looking for a good deal on computer components.  They also feature a number of other bargains in departments like apparel, automotive, and even wine!  Once you have settled on something you must own, do your own comparison between PriceWatch and PriceGrabber to see which site has merchants that will provide you with the absolute lowest price.

The last site I’ll discuss in this column is one I visit less often; it is a site that I typically avoid unless I have money burning a hole in my wallet and the craving for a new tech toy is too great.  SlickDeals.net (https://www.slickdeals.net) is great for finding awesome deals on all kinds of things, as they specialize in listing sales at online merchants that might only last for a day or less.  If I visit the site, I find myself buying things I don’t really need, just because the prices are so great.  For example, a visit today yields a listing for Land’s End, where men’s shoes are on clearance for $10 and up and women’s coats are starting at $20.  A Uniden Cordless Digital Answering System with Dual Keypad and Speakerphone (including two extra handsets) is only $30.  I don’t need any of this stuff, but boy, is that cheap!  SlickDeals.net always has computers, flat panel televisions, apparel, kitchen appliances, food coupons, and other great items for a great price, so it’s a good starting point if you are in the mood to shop and save money.

By no means do I recommend always shopping online.  Sometimes it helps to get a “hands-on” feel for something you need by going to a “bricks and mortar” store and checking it out, a feature that no online retailer provides.  But if saving money is important (as it is to me), then give these sites a try.  Just remember, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

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