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The Art of Bargain Hunting

September 14th, 2008

The art of bargain hunting

Most people know a great deal when they see it, but how do you find a great deal? What are some of the secrets of bargain hunting?

Well, I wish I could say there are lots of secrets to bargain hunting, but really many of the best deals on the net are found by dedicated communities like Buxr.com. Many deal and coupon sites also get their coupons and offers directly from the merchants themselves (yes it’s unfair :) ). But do not despair, there are a few good tips I can share with you today, that will help you discover a hot deal and maybe even make it hotter.

Hint 1. Browse popular merchants’ “percentage movers’” lists.

Not everyone knows about these lists, but they are a great way for finding what the hot bargains are right now. For example, you can go to buy.com’s “what’s shakin’ list” and see what the biggest percentage movers are. These “movers” are usually the products with good discounts. Another one of my favorites is the Amazon top seller list. Amazon breaks down movers and shakers for every product category. These lists are based on product sales, which is usually a good indicator for deal hotness. One note of caution: you should beware of popular items like iPods and best selling books, where trends are driving the sales more than price.

Hint 2. Make a hot deal sweeter, find a coupon or applicable rebate

Being in the deals business for almost 5 years now, I’ve seen a lot. Most of the great deals that have been found are good deals that have been combined with stackable coupons or rebates for additional discounts. So for example, you’ve just looked through the buy.com movers and shakers list, and found something that has a really great price. Now is your chance to find a coupon to make it even hotter. Just Google “buy.com coupons”, and see what else is out there. I know right now there is an 8% coupon for new customers that can add significant savings. Don’t forget about those Google checkout or Paypal offers too, every dollar counts! If there is no rebate for the product you have found, perhaps you can find a rebate that was not listed by the particular merchant. Search for that product in Google, and see if any other retailers are offering a rebate for this product. Read the fine print, check the exclusions, and you might have just made a deal smoking hot!

Hint 3. Hunt through circulars for great in-store offers

A lot of merchants have great deals but they are sometimes not available online. You can find these deals in local circulars from the weekend newspaper. This is especially key during holidays like Black Friday, where some of the best deals can only be found in stores. If you don’t like going through the paper, many of the biggest merchants offer their circulars online.

Hint 4. Sign-up a junk email address for special offers with your favorite merchants

Like I said before, a lot of merchant email deal and coupon sites with their best deals. But did you know you could also get notified in advance? Simply sign up for top merchant newsletters. Newegg is a great example of a merchant that sends their customers and newsletter subscribers great deals via email. And use hint 2 to make the deals even hotter. Use an email address you don’t care about because some of merchants are relentless with emailing :)

Signing up for newsletters is also great for freebies. Most of the freebie offers I find are sent to me because I applied for free offers from merchants in the past. A good example is rewardsgold.com, from which I’ve received tons of free magazines. I get a couple of free magazine offers from them every week. Too bad I have no time to read them :)

Hint 5. Check your deal with a price comparison engine

A great way to perform a final check for hotness is to run the product through a price comparison engine. At Buxr we use Pricegrabber, but there are plenty of them to check with. If you find other retailers with lower prices, your purchase might qualify for a rebate you found with a higher priced merchant. Many comparison engines even have percentage mover lists or popular products lists to browse through.

What are you waiting for, start hunting!

With these great five bargain hunting tips, get out there and start searching. If all else fails, you can browse the tons of other deal sites on the net. Everyone has their favorites, and there are so many that you can always find a deal that is unique and share it with other Buxr members!

What are some of the great bargain hunting secrets you know? We would love to hear them.

Entry Filed under: Shopping

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Equipurpe  |  September 15th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Great stuff, guys!

    Here’s an idea for a new feature, to help take advantage of the group knowledge in a community such as this.

    I suggest a Worst Deal submission. We all get junk mail and we all scan our own proprietary list of sites and communities, and we all know what is good and submit the good ones to Buxr and vote them up when we see them.
    But there are many times when I go through an ad or email or site and look at the deal and say, “That deal really s#$%^&*(s.” I would like to share that opinion of such an advertised deal–and why–so that other members can avoid the bad deals as well.
    Have at it community!

    –equipurple

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