Comparison Shopping – Where to Buy?

Generally, one may think of comparison shopping as going from store to store to see which items are cheaper and then making a purchase.  Proper comparison shopping, however, goes way deeper than that.  It serves to inform the consumer where to go to get the most out of their money by taking into consideration several factors.

Here are some comparison shopping tips to help you get the most out of your shopping experience and your wallet!

1. Affordability – after all, you wouldn’t want to have to break the bank in order to shop at that store.  Ask yourself “Can I really afford this”, “Would I be breaking my budget”

2.  Location – if the money you think you’re saving is heading straight into the gas tank then you will probably have to reconsider if that supermarket, grocery store or shopper’s club is right for you.  Let’s say you live in Diego Martin but heard about this really cheap store in San Fernando, would this really be cost effective on a regular basis?  I don’t think so.

3.  Convenience – “is it close to work”, “Can I get to this store on the way to pick up the kids from school”,  “Can I get there easily if I don’t have access to a vehicle”.  Let’s say I live in Diego Martin but work in San Fernando and that really cheap store my friend was telling me about is a short distance away from work.  I can stop at that store after work before heading home.  Now that’s convenient!  Also, if you’ve made a purchase and discover you have a faulty product then it will be nice to know that they’re about 20 minutes away from where you live or a place you frequent and not one hour and a half.  If the store is not a convenient place to shop then it will most likely discourage you from going back to get an exchange or refund.

4.  Varietyhow many of your shopping items can you find in that store?  Even if you only have a few items on your list, if you wish to try something new can that store offer you that variety?  

5.  Membership or Shopper’s card – this helps you to save money in the long run.  Hi-Lo Foodstores, for example, is famous for their Smart Shopper’s Card where a consumer can rack up points (double points on Wednesdays) and be rewarded in the end.  However, while TruValu does not have a direct shopper’s card (anymore), having a MAGNA rewards card also allows you to rack up points at participating grocery stores including TruValu.  And get this, because TruValu is more affordable than Hi-Lo, when you use your MAGNA rewards card you can get even more savings.  

6.  Overall Shopping Experience – Do you feel welcome at that particular store?  Are the staff members friendly or polite?  If there is a problem, is it easy to contact the floor manager, etc.?  Is the store generally clean?  Do they make attempts to enhance the shopping experience for the customer?

Shopping – even for groceries – ought to be a pleasurable experience, not a headache.

So the next time you’re out shopping, take these tips into consideration to ensure you have the best shopping experience possible.

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