The value of comparison shopping
Want some free money?
Comparison shop before your next major purchase. A
few minutes of research could save you hundreds of dollars in cold,
"You effectively pay yourself $1 to $9
per minute in time spent shopping around," says Jack Gillis,
director of public affairs for Consumer Federation of America.
"You can pay yourself far more in time
spent shopping around than you get paid in your job. And on top
of that, it's tax-free."
Most major products and services come with a range
of prices. Shop around and there's a good chance you'll uncover
a lower price for the exact item or service you're looking for.
By comparison shopping, you get what you want for
less and more green stays in your wallet. And it takes maybe 15
or 20 minutes of your time.
Save $100s in minutes
Not convinced? Just look at the savings uncovered in a recent
shopping survey by the Consumer Literacy Consortium.
Thirty-seven Virginia Tech University students were
armed with telephones and asked to get three price quotes on each
of the following items: a rental car, a color TV and two separate
round-trip airline tickets.
"It's the old, 'let your fingers do the walking,'"
The students saved $139 on a round-trip airline ticket
from Houston to Los Angeles; $125 on a round-trip airline ticket
from Washington, D.C., to Chicago; $100 on a color TV and $26 on
a two-day car rental. And no
item took more than 21 minutes to research.
Next time you're tempted to rush out and make a major
purchase, think about the cash you could save with just a few minutes
"If someone were to say to you while you were
making the decision, here's $100, but you'll have to take 15 minutes
to earn it, who wouldn't take it?" Gillis asks.