Price vs. Cost

This morning I read an interesting article from Seth Godin’s blog. The subject, though not expressed in this way, is essentially was price vs. cost. Price as in the monetary commitment required to buy-in and cost as in the resources expended¬†over time to maintain said item. Sure, it’s not a revolutionary concept; but, it can always be helpful to reflect on concepts in a different light or hear someone else’s perspective. The same thing is supposed to happen when you read scripture, right? ūü§Ē

Here is Seth’s thought-provoking question: I know what the price tag says. But what does it cost?

Don’t just think of cost in terms of money. Cost can also be your time, stress, not doing something else (also known as opportunity cost).¬†Lifehacker¬†says, “More often than not, figuring out something‚Äôs cost is more important than figuring out its price.”

Here are a few examples:

  • You buy a dog that costs $500. The $500 price tag is a one-time expense, what it takes to buy-in. The cost, however is: dog food + doctor visits + dog-sitters + 15-minute walks each day over years, many years. The cost is on-going and can be more than 10 times the price.
  • You buy a luxury handbag that costs $500. The price tag is the same as the example above; however, the cost, in this case is nominal – maybe you need to clean it, have a few repairs, etc. but not very much in the grand scheme of things. The cost of the luxury handbag is less than the price.

Here’s the thing: as I am typing this post I am learning / acknowledging my own personal buying behavior and preference. I prefer high price, low-cost items. ūüí° Meaning, I’d rather spend money up front (higher price) and have minimal cost. Some people prefer the opposite approach. Or maybe more correctly stated, our attitudes are different depending on what the “thing” in question is: a house, a trip to Paris, a steak dinner, a vintage car, a membership in a club or group, golf lessons. I do think most people have a pattern. Sure, you can bring value into this discussion but that’s subjective. Cost and price are quantifiable, very easy to measure.

So what’s the takeaway? The next time you consider the pice tag (“buying in”), take 30-seconds and think about what type of price-cost arrangement you are getting yourself into. Whatever your choice is, enjoy!

Black Friday in July

jtz6iw9r5fksj4kr0eluGet ready to shop until you drop on July 15th! Last week, Amazon announced plans to hold Amazon Prime Day.¬†“Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.”¬†Amazon’s Prime membership costs $99/year but has lots of benefits, described here and they even offer a free 30-day ¬†trial¬†for the service in case you want to “try before you buy”. I’ve told you before about the benefits of automating purchases of mundane items like toilet paper, laundry detergent, deodorant etc. to simplify your life (see¬†Amazon Subscribe & Save). Now is as good a time as any to get in on the action! Think of this day as Black Friday in July (it also includes free shipping), mainly because¬†Wal-Mart is also joining the party and is introducing thousands of exclusive discounts for online purchases on the very same day.

So here’s a tip¬†if you’re not into Amazon… take FULL advantage of Wal-Marts price match policy ANY DAY of the year, including on Amazon Prime Day. The policy can be found on the retailer’s website, guarantee here. You have a few options:

  1. Contact Wal-Mart customer care at 1-800-966-6546 before you make your purchase online
  2. Drag yourself into the store and show the cashier¬†the sales price on Amazon’s website
  3. Purchase your item in-store, or online as normal, then use Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher app and wait for¬†the price to be matched¬†(Savings Catcher).¬†If you are buying a large item it’s always a good idea to take screen shots (item #, price) to have proof, just in case this process fails.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.50.17 PMI play this¬†price matching card¬†ALL THE TIME and literally just got $50 refunded to me¬†this morning from Anthropologie and J. Crew because of a little diligence (see also Price Match). This is the reason I typically buy things I want, even if they are not on sale. More likely than not, the item will go on sale – no need to wait until¬†then as your size/color may not be available. I also ALWAYS setup price alerts on the Shop Style app (iOS, ¬†Android) at ALL¬†stores offering the exact same item so that I don’t have to keep checking each website to¬†see if the price has changed. If you do not have this app, GET IT NOW!!!

Happy shopping! (video below)

Here are a few of the other items Amazon is teasing:

  • Fire TV Stick $15 off
  • Kindle, $30 off
  • Fire HD 7, $60 off
  • Fire HD 7 Kids Edition, $60 off
  • 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $115
  • A “brand-name 32-inch Smart HDTV” for under $200
  • 50-inch 4K TV bundle, under $1000
  • Bose headphones at the lowest price ever on Amazon
  • Over 50% off two Nikon COOLPIX cameras
  • “Highly rated” binoculars, under $120
  • Two security camera-kits, $279.99
  • K’NEX 2-in-1 Ferris Wheel Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $35.99
  • K’NEX Crossfire Chaos Roller Coaster Building Set (Amazon Exclusive), $23.99
  • Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Figure (Amazon Exclusive), $9.99
  • iRobot Roomba Pet Vacuum Cleaning Robot, under $300
  • Husqvarna mower, under $300
  • 40 lightning deals on DVDs up to 75% off
  • Up to 50% off any of the Harry Potter books
  • Save more than 70% on the Divergent Series Complete Box Set of books
  • Save up to 70% on select kitchen products from top brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Foodsaver and Thermos
  • Save up to 50% on select tools for the DIY auto enthusiast
  • Connected Car and Scan Tool products starting at 60% off
  • Road-trip-ready automotive products starting at 50% off
  • Save more than 50% on Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain
  • 30 percent off some clothing, shoes, jewelry, and watches
  • 60 percent off Amazon Elements Baby Wipes with code ELEMENTS60
  • Free luxury beauty sample box with $50 purchase of luxury beauty products, with promo code LUXSAMPLES
  • Buy an Amazon.com Gift Card multipack, get $10 in Amazon.com promotional credit
  • 25% bonus Amazon Coins when you buy 5,000 or 10,000 Amazon Coins

Nordstrom Price Match

The goal of this post is to share information about how you can get better deals on purchases. Most people think getting the lowest price when they make the actual purchase is the only way to great deals on merchandise Рnot true! Most stores have a PRICE MATCH policy which include lower prices from THEIR store and their COMPETITORS! One of my new favorite stores, Nordstrom, has a 14-day price match policy. It states: 

  • Price matching:¬†We will be glad to meet our competitor’s pricing if you ever find an item that we offer, in the same color and size, available from a similar retailer.

  • Sale Adjustment: If an item you have purchased is reduced in price within two weeks of your order date, we will happily adjust the sale price for you.

0400087026029_247x329An example always helps: Thirteen days ago on April 7th, I purchased a tote from Nordstrom for $298. This morning I noticed¬†Saks is having a Friends & Family sale, where most items¬†are 30% off. So what did I do? Searched for this¬†product on Saks’¬†website and sure enough they had the exact color I purchased from Nordstrom. So – I called Nordstrom’s customer service, alerted them of the price difference¬†and they adjusted my price down to $208.60. That’s a savings of $89.40 that will be credited to my card just because I was diligent. So go ahead and buy¬†what you want. Set a reminder on your calendar 14 days later to check competitor sites like Saks, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s,¬†Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. ¬†(It may also be helpful to check back every couple of days in case they have a short-lived sale, like 1-day promotion). It does not matter if these stores are in your area or not! STAY FABULOUS!

Savings Catcher

UnknownIf you shop at Wal-Mart, no more scanning a million sales papers to see who has the lowest prices. Nope! Wal-Mart has a ¬†new program¬†called¬†Savings Catcher. Simply shop and buy what you normally would and scan your receipt afterwards. Wal-Mart searches local stores (Kroger, Publix, Walgreens, Target, etc.) for lower prices and refunds you the difference via a gift card. The next time you shop, show them your “rewards” and receive it as a credit on your bill. It’s that simple.¬†So far the program is only available in limited markets (Atlanta, Charlotte, Lexington, Dallas, Huntsville, San Diego and Minneapolis). I tried it a few weeks ago and saved $0.50¬†on a $50 purchase.

Few facts: in-store purchases only, up to 7 receipts per week, 72-hour turnaround on price matches, does not apply on store brand items, produce, deli, bakery and weighed items like meat.