New Shopper – Are You Making These 5 Wallet Draining Mistakes?

New shopper mistakes can be costly in an economic slump.  With the recession growing wider, everyone waits with anticipation for a bottom to come. Still others wait patiently for the new Obama administration and congress to address a workable bailout plan for homeowners.  While the housing industry and our government works out solutions many people make obvious and not so obvious mistakes that waste money. I’ll discuss the top 5 wallet draining mistakes homeowners are making in this housing recession and other shopper insights.

1. Not Comparison Shopping.

During a recession it’s more important than ever to comparison shop,. Why?  Because the more familiar you are with current prices, offers by companies, and product selections the more value you’ll get. A recent consumer study by the University of California revealed a surprising fact. The study estimated the average person saves 20-30% more on their purchases by comparison shopping, than those who don’t. Yes, you can save up to 30 cents for every dollar you spend by getting 3 estimates rather than one. One of the main reasons people have for not comparison shopping by far is convenience and time. However, with the internet that excuse is slowly going away. With the click of a mouse you can check the going prices for thousands of services and products.

2. Not Negotiating.

During a recession with so many businesses staring at red ink,  full shelves of merchandise and empty stores anyone who doesn’t learn to negotiate is spending too much money. This includes contractors, plumbers and carpenters.  It’s important to know what the going price is if you plan a home improvement or repair job. But be careful with contractors and repairmen, the cheapest price is not always best. When it comes to contractors, even in a recession, you often get what you pay for – but you should still shop and compare to get the best value for your dollar.

3. Not Waiting.

Not being willing to wait is another wallet draining mistake many people make during a recession. A got to have it now attitude has been responsible for more wasted money and caused more credit card debt than any other reason.  It’s especially dangerous in our instant gratification society that your great, great grandchildren will still be paying for.

Purposeful waiting will save you more money than you can imagine, if it done right. Purposeful waiting is when you wait for 3 events to happen.

1. Waiting for a better price.

2. Waiting to educate yourself (comparison shop, research).

3. Waiting to save money or a good down payment – if it’s a big-ticket item.

Doing at least one or preferably all the above will instantly save you money, time and frustration. Of course greedy merchants, salespeople may not like this attitude … but your wallet and your savings will.

4. Not Taking Quick Action.

This may seem like a contradiction of number 4 above which tells you to wait but it’s not. Let me explain. You should take quick actions on a bargain, a deal or a good buy when you know the going prices already, you have a need for the product now and the bargain or deal may not be there later. Be careful about the “limited time” only phrase, many advertisers use it as a sales ploy. You’ll know it’s probably true if you haven’t seen such as bargain or sale before and they have a good reason for the sale or bargain, such as going out of business for example.

5. Not Remembering Cash Has Clout – If You Know How To Use It.

In a recession with credit tight or in short supply –  the person who has cash is king or queen. But even if you don’t have a lot of cash,  you can make up for your cash shortage by finding merchants, contractors and repairmen willing to negotiate. It may surprise you now how many people are not willing to negotiate who would have thrown four-letter words at you a year ago.

If you’ll take the time to follow the 5 wallet draining mistakes and other shopper insights just mentioned you’ll help your money stretch farther. In addition you’ll discover saving, price breaks and discounts just for the asking.  Remember you won’t know unless you ask … and all they can say is no. Give it a try. I’ll bring you more shopper news and other ideas in upcoming week’s. If you’re a new shopper, a seasoned pro – or somewhere in between, I’ll do my best to help you spend wiser.