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How To Be A Smart Shopper

If you're in the market for new furniture, appliances, or anything else that usually costs a pretty penny, take the time to learn how to be a smart shopper and save yourself some money. Simply follow the steps below to get those savings started.

  • Determine how much your budget will allow you to spend, and stay within those limits.

  • Many retail items can be found in discount, outlet or warehouse stores, so take the time to shop around. You'll be glad you did.

  • Keep an eye out for a good sale. If possible, wait for a holiday weekend to roll around, such as Memorial or Labor Day weekend, and make your purchase then. After-Christmas sales also offer huge potential savings.

  • Ask your friends and relatives for their opinions on certain items. Their referrals may help you find the best product for the price.

  • Check Consumer Reports and other product-rating magazines for more information. Search the Internet or find hard copies at your local library.

  • Inspect products carefully before you buy them. Check for quality and durability. When in doubt, stick to reliable brand names.

  • Read warranties carefully. Make sure you understand the policy and what potential problems it covers.

  • Don't forget to incorporate extra charges into your budget. Delivery and sales tax can significantly increase the amount you spend.

  • Ask for appraisals for high-priced used items and certificates of authenticity for collectible items. Save your receipts and return products that are unsatisfactory.

  • Use coupons and special discounts whenever possible. Find out what discounts your travel club, credit cards and other affiliations offer.

A few more things to remember:

  • When in doubt, delay your purchase. Wait a week and reconsider your options. This will give you a fresh perspective before making any final decisions.

  • The cheapest buy is not always the smartest buy. Quality is what matters.

  • Buying from a catalog often costs more. If possible, go to the store directly and avoid shipping fees.

  • Some companies have what are known as "scratch-and-dent" outlet stores. The damage to furniture and appliances is often hidden or barely noticeable.

  • Avoid compulsive buying at all costs. Ask yourself if you really need it, and never buy something just because it's on sale!



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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