Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Get the Best Price on All Your Purchases!

I am going to show you how to get the very best price on potentially everything you buy by using a form of arbitrage.  If you are not familiar with arbitrage it is simply the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.  In this case the "markets" are the form of payment used.  If this sounds complicated it really isn't and I will show you how it works.

After you have found the product or products that you want to buy and have found the best price then the only other thing to do is pay or it.  This is where you have an opportunity to save every bit as much as you are saving by buying the item on sale and at the very best price you could possibly find.  This is the last step in the purchase or buying process and it is where so many people "leave money on the table".

Obviously to pay for your purchase you could pay with cash, or use a debit or credit card, but have you considered using a gift card?  I am talking about paying with a gift card or cards that you buy for yourself, not the one(s) that are given to you as a gift although those work as well.  And I am not talking about buying a gift card from a store like CVS, Walgreen's, Walmart or any other store.  No, what I am talking about is buying a "discounted" gift card from an on-line gift card reseller.

If you have been a PPP reader if any length of time then you know how much of an advocate I am of using "discounted" gift cards to pay for everything possible.  This is such a powerful way to save and is so easy to do that I am surprised that more people don't think to do it.

Here is how it works:

Step 1 - List which stores you shop at on a regular basis or are likely to buy from whether they are brick-n-mortar and/or on-line stores.  This list should include restaurants as well as department stores.

Step 2 - Now go to the on-line "discount" gift card resellers web sites (I have listed the biggest and best known below) and take a look at their listings of gift cards.  If they don't have what you're looking for in stock at the time you visit just sign up for alerts or just stop by later to check on new arrivals.  You can get discounts from 6% all the way up to 30% OFF the value remaining on the gift card.

Step 3 - Once you have decided which "discounted" gift cards you want to buy and from which "discount" gift card reseller you want to buy from you need to "STOP"! Stop and go to one of the shopping portals such as Ebates or ShopAtHome or MrRebates to see if the "discounted" gift card reseller is listed with the shopping portal.  If you find the "discounted" gift card reseller listed with one of the shopping portals then go through that shopping portal to make the purchase of the "discounted" gift card.

Step 4 - Now you are ready to pay for the "discounted' gift card and here is where you have yet another opportunity to save.  To pay for the "discounted" gift card you will want to use a credit card that pays you rewards or Cash Back.  I use a Chase INK card that pays me 3% Cash Back on all my purchases.

Step 5 - Once you have decided on the store you want to shop at and have secured the "discounted" gift cards you will need to decide whether you want to shop on-line or go to the store to make the purchase.  If you decide to shop on-line then you have yet another opportunity to save by going through the same shopping portals such as Ebates or ShopAtHome or MrRebates to the store where you want to make your purchase.

By going through these shopping portals you will save more by getting the Cash Back Rebates they offer you for simply shopping through them.  When you shop through them you do not pay a higher price for the products you buy nor do you pay any fees for using them.  You can get anywhere from 1% to 35% Cash Back depending on which one you use and which store you shop at, plus if you are new you will be given a sign-up bonus.

Step 6 - Now that you have gotten the best deal possible on the purchase of the "discounted" gift card(s) use them to pay for your purchase.

That's all there is to it! 

The total amount of your savings will depend on how much you save at each step, but you will save money using this strategy and after you have done it a few times it will become like second nature and you will zip right through it.  

This strategy works year round, but it will really pay off during the up-coming gift giving season, but you need to get those "discounted" gift cards now while you have time and they are available.

Here are the most well known and popular sites for buying, selling and trading gift cards.  Depending on the merchant you can save any where from 6% up to 30% Off the remaining value on the gift card.  What is also great about these sites is they do not charge you a penny in fees for buying a "discounted" gift card.  If the gift card has a value of $50 and is selling for $40 then that's all you pay.  

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