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Guerrilla price comparison

Guerrilla price comparison (Thinkstock)
Money's hard to come by. Most of us have to work hard for the stuff.

So it makes sense not to throw it away. One way to ensure this is to never, ever buy anything without shopping around. Even a packet of chewing gum is going to be cheaper at the supermarket than the local dairy.

Where comparing prices really pays off is for larger ticket items. For example, the HTC Sensation mobile phone (which I'd love to own if I wasn't such a sensible girl with my money) was selling for $1099.99 at Bond+Bond when I checked, but just $658.80 form Expert Infotech. That's a Sensation-al price difference.

Here are 10 guerrilla price comparison tips from an expert:

Use comparison shopping sites

PriceMe, PriceSpy are invaluable for shopping around — especially for electronic goods. The great thing about these sites is that they include high street stores such as Bond+Bond and Noel Leeming as well as online retailers. They can be very useful if you're looking to use price matching. You can also compare utilities prices on WhatsMyNumber and Consumer's TelMe service.

Use the Internet

If the item in question isn't on these comparison websites, search online for it. You might just find a store you didn't know about that is very competitive.

Use the telephone

Pick up the phone and check prices and stock levels. There's nothing worse than spending $10 on petrol to find that the item listed on a retailer's website is out of stock. Calling sometimes uncovers a local store-only deal as well. It's a good idea to use your mobile phone whilst out shopping. You can call a competitor, or use your smart phone to compare prices whilst you're standing in a shop.

Check out international websites

Some items can be shipped from the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to New Zealand. Overseas countries have price comparison websites such as PriceRunner.co.uk and PriceGrabber.com.

Compare like with like

Make sure the two items you're comparing are equivalent. I've been caught out buying something on online just to find when it arrived that was smaller and/or of lesser quality than it looked.

Price matching

Even if you have a preferred or convenient retailer you can often get that store to match a cheaper price elsewhere.

Wait

I know the feeling of wanting something now. But patience is a virtue. Keep a really close eye on the shop mailers in your letterbox and adverts in the local newspaper.

Consider costs
It's essential when comparing prices to factor in the cost of driving to buy the item in question or of having it posted to you. For some people time is money.

Compare new and second-hand

You'll often pay a third of the new cost or even less when buying second hand and it only takes a few minutes online to compare prices.

Sign up for one-day sale deals. Sites such as Cudo have great deals on just about anything, but you need to swoop fast. Recently I was shopping around for new tyres and by coincidence there was a not-to-be-missed deal that day on Cudo for Tyre City that saved me about $30.

Compare unit costs

For smaller purchases such as groceries, compare unit costs.

Keep a price list

For items you buy regularly, keep a rough price list on your smart phone or even a piece of paper. That way when you're out and you see something that might be reasonably priced, you can do a comparison on the spot.

Read more:

User comments
price me and price spy are really out dated, and do not have the cheapest prices, i have looked for 5 things recently and used both of these sites, yet i have found them cheaper else where than was stated as the cheapest on the web site, make sure you actually shop around rather than rely on the web

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