One-Stop Shopping With Sales Ads

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Most of us are all too familiar with the concept of extreme couponing and super saving. There are countless ways to get the most out of your money when you visit the grocery store such as taking advantage of coupons, doubling coupons, sales ads, seasonal shopping, and clearance deals. Another savings method many people don’t take full advantage of is price matching. The retail market is extremely competitive as each retailer seeks to lure shoppers into their stores with the items they want at the lowest prices. To the shoppers’ advantage, this usually means competitors will honor other stores’ ads just to get the sales, whether they are taking a loss or not. From the retailers’ point of view, the little amount they lose in profit is more than made up for by satisfied customers who will stay in their stores and buy other items at full markup. If you’ve never been comfortable price matching or aren’t sure if retailers in your area participate, here are some tips to get started.

Make your list before you look at any sales ads. This is important to do because if you look at the sales ads first, you may see items you want in addition to items you absolutely need. A cheaper price on an item you don’t need is still money you hadn’t planned on spending. A good time span to shop for is 1-2 weeks, depending on your paydays and budget. Much less than this and you’ll be wasting time shopping; much more, and you risk spoiled or wasted food.

Gather all the ads from newspapers as well as online. Most stores release a weekly or bi-weekly sales ad of specially-priced items in their stores. Many times these items will be seasonally-focused and are targeted to be items shoppers will want to buy that week. If stores around you don’t release sale flyers, check their company website.

Mark items on sale that are also on your list; copy prices.You may find it necessary to add items to your list, but again, try to avoid adding anything you didn’t need before you saw the ad. In addition to marking the paper, write the sale prices next to the items on your list so you have an easy point of reference.

Bring your sales ads with you to the store and compare them as you shop. If your usual grocery store is almost always lower than its competitors, you may not have much to price match, but chances are you will find ads that feature items significantly lower than your store’s base retail, in some cases as much as a few dollars difference!

Follow the rules. To increase the chance of your price match being honored, notice the brand, size of package, and any special conditions listed on the ad. Some retailers don’t honor buy one, get one ads from other stores, or percentage off ads without original retails. Some stores will even ad match store brands with other store brands, but you should ask before assuming.

Be a polite price matcher. Many stores make a practice of being aware of competitors ads so they are able to better serve their customers and catch potential fraud. In this case, you may simply need to mention the sales price and the competitor advertising it in order to get the reduced price. Other stores may carry stricter policies that require you to bring in the actual advertisement. It’s always a good idea to bring in the sales just in case you’re questioned. If a store refuses to honor your ad match, don’t throw a fit or demand to see a manager. Matching prices to other stores is a courtesy and not an entitlement to shoppers. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask. Many people don’t get the best possible price on every item they buy simply because they are afraid to ask for it. Retailers are used to price matching, and the worse they can do is refuse.

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