Everyone knows that prices can vary among retailers, but by how much? To find out, I collected posted prices for popular products at different online and brick-and-mortar stores. (Prices were gathered within a brief window in August and September and may have since changed; shipping costs were excluded.) The results are clear: A little research can save you a lot!
Shop around … better
- Check all major retail sites and search Google.com/shopping. You never know where the best deals will be.
- If an item is particularly low priced, it may be refurbished or its seller may be iffy. Check user reviews and return policies, especially on eBay and with third-party sellers on sites such as Amazon and Walmart.
- Some brands (including Apple, Bose, Maui Jim, Sonos and Yeti) have policies for minimum advertised pricing that make it tough to find markdowns. So look for special incentives and check for unadvertised sales in stores.
Lisa Lee Freeman, a consumer and shopping expert, was founder and editor in chief of ShopSmart magazine from Consumer Reports.