How to find a bargain

With end-of-year holiday deals and discounts long gone, it’s back to the real world, where we all have to work a little harder to find bargains for the products and services we’re dreaming of.

To help you save all year round, our Shop Talk team has scoured the internet to find bargain hunting pros’ best ways to save. Here’s what we found:

Always haggle – or at the very least never be afraid to ask. As the old saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and most businesses would rather give you even a small discount to close the sale than risk you walking out the door (or surfing to another online site) and not coming back. If a retailer is already offering deep discounts it may be unlikely you’ll squeeze out more but ask anyway.

Stay in the know. It’s a bummer to buy something today and find out a week later that it’s gone on sale. When in-store, ask your favorite retailer if there’s a sale coming and, if there is, see if they’ll offer you the sale price early. If not, consider holding on to your cash until the promotion begins.

Buy off-season. Everyone wants a barbecue before the summer and winter tires before the first snowstorm. But if you plan ahead, you can buy early or during a product’s slow season and reap the rewards with deeper discounts.

Go out of your way. Retailers in busy locations tend to bump up their prices because overhead costs are higher and they know they’re more likely to get customers to pay the full price. Try locating your favorite finds off the beaten path – outside city centers or in warehouse locations – where businesses have more of an incentive to bargain. But be sensible – if it takes you two hours to drive there and back, the savings may not be worth the gas and time you spend.

What are your surefire ways to find bargains? Share your secrets with the Shop Talk blog community forum!

Did you know? Band of savers

Another smart way to save? Team up with likeminded bargain hunters or set up a bargain club or Facebook group to network and find more deals.

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