As if staying on
budget during the holidays wasn't hard enough, retailers are using
dynamic pricing to make it even more difficult. The concept refers to
the practice of changing the price of a product based on fluctuations in
supply, demand, and even in response to the weather.
However, most retailers use dynamic pricing to one-up their competitors.
Earlier this year, the price of a microwave oven on Amazon changed nine
times in one day, ranging from $745 to $872. That's over $125 in savings
if you bought at the right time -- and a really bad purchase if you
bought at the wrong one.
So what's the best way to navigate fluctuating prices and land the
cheapest deal? Consider the following eight tips for hassle-free
1. Use price-predictor sites.
Sites like Decide.com and PriceGrabber.com are designed to help you
determine the best time to buy a desired item. Price histories and
product reviews are also available at your fingertips, since each of
these sites has an app for your smartphone or tablet.
2. Look for coupons in-store.
In addition to shopping during sale time, grab coupons while you're
browsing in-store using the Coupon Sherpa mobile app. The app is free
for both Android and Apple devices, and enables you to search for
discounts that can be scanned or entered directly from your smartphone.
3. Try tracking tools.
PricePinx is a free service that sends you a notification when the price
of a desired product drops. FreePriceAlerts is a browser add-on that
helps you find the best price when searching online for products. And
CamelCamelCamel is another browser add-on with price history and
price-drop notifications for items on Amazon, Best Buy and Newegg.
4. Redeem reward points.
One of the easiest ways to save money on holiday gifts is to use your
credit card reward points toward discounts and gift cards. Some credit
cards will offer extra points when you shop at select stores, and others
will offer discounts on gift cards to specific retailers. Ultimately,
it's best to call your credit card company to determine what specials
and extra savings are available.
5. Get a price match.
Stores such as Target and Best Buy are matching Amazon prices this
holiday season, and Lowe's and Home Depot usually duke it out for
customers by offering price match "plus," or 10-percent off their
competitor's better price. Ultimately, it pays to shop around and ask
store managers about price-matching options. Use a barcode-scanning app
like RedLaser to determine what a product costs at local stores and
6. Ask for a price adjustment.
Some stores offer price adjustments on products that drop in price after
your purchase. Timeframe is always a factor, so keep your receipt and
track the product's price two to four weeks after you purchase it. A
friend of mine received $25 back when the artificial Christmas tree she
purchased for $75 dropped to $50.
7. Ditch the extras.
Extended warranties and expedited shipping are just two of the many
add-ons that increase the price of your product. The basic warranty is
typically sufficient, especially if the credit card you're using has
additional coverage. And, events like Free Shipping Day on Monday, Dec.
17 make it easy to order last-minute gifts while dodging delivery fees.
8. Review your credit card perks.
In addition to rewards, some credit cards offer price guarantees. These
guarantees make qualifying purchases eligible for a partial refund when
they drop in price during a certain timeframe. This is different than a
price adjustment because it's issued by your credit card company, not
check out her web site for further helpful information: