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Large scale retailers like Target, Best Buy and even Walmart know how it feels to be price shopped.
That tactic hardly is anything new but certainly seems much more prevalent in recent years as the consumer isn't content with the first sticker price they see.
This is especially true when it comes to electronics and other technological gadgets, from televisions to computers and everything large and small in between.
Those aforementioned stores would argue that the idea of using their stores as a glorified showroom with no intention to purchase directly from the physical store isn't quite what you'd call fair. The savvier customers might, for example, have their eye on a new 50 inch, flat screen TV. They're able to find that same television on Amazon.com for a few hundred dollars less than what Best Buy is currently offering. So, the process from there is quite simple: check out the TV in person and then buy it cheaper online.
You can call that cunning, unfair, unjust or flat out wrong, but customers would beg to differ and offer up their own pertinent description of today's shopping scene: smart.
Saving money isn't about preserving the feelings of million and billion dollar companies but rather putting extra cash in your pocket, especially when it comes to big ticket items like tablets or cell and any other large scale electronics.
Companies like Best Buy, Sears and Target are struggling to compete with the likes of Amazon, eBay and other online retailers that make it a point challenge those retail heavyweights and hit them where it hurts most: their bottom lines.
The days of determining exactly what you want and then blindly paying the asking price are over. Today's consumer deals directly in finding a bottom line cost associated with what they buy, while still putting a premium on quality and durability.
If an online company or retailer fits and fills all the criteria that a customer wants, why wouldn't you buy safely, securely and comfortably from them if you can save money in the process?
If in the course of a calendar year, you save $200 on a television, another $100 on a PC and a few bucks here and there on accessories like headphones, keyboards or monitors, which could easily translate into an extra $1,000 within that 12 month period.
That money should be in your wallet, pocket or savings account, rather than a small part of the year end revenue sheet touted by big time retailers. This isn't to suggest that those organizations aren't adept and competent at what they do, but rather their ignorance and lack of understanding that often the lowest price trumps all.
Plenty of ardent and conscientious tax payers circle April 15 on their calendar, not so much as a reminder that they'll be shelling out serious cash but rather the federal or state government sending a few extra dollars their way.
The always revered and often mismanaged tax refund check takes center stage as the filing deadline already is on the mind of the masses. Whether you file online or gather up your receipts scattered throughout your home and have them sorted by an accountant isn't so much the pressing issue as much as what you end up doing with that money once you have it in hand.
As much as you tell yourself you're going to save the money or invest it consciously, you end up with that Jet Ski you'll never use or that ubiquitous car stereo that you only turn on occasionally while driving.
Spending your tax refund unwisely is just the financial version of spinning your wheels.
That money, regardless if it’s a few dollars or thousands, isn't “found” money, but often it is treated as such. Those who pay particular attention to their budget know that the money they receive before or after April 15 in the form of a refund check can do more good than harm if it's spent wisely and with justification.
You may argue that you deserve a vacation or want to finally have that new car, and those purchases aren't exactly forbidden if you can honestly say you're in a financial position to spend that way. If your savings account either is dwindling or you don't have one at all, you might want to consider opening one in lieu of lavishing yourself with a spa trip or vacation package.
That tax return income also could be used for household repairs you've been putting off, the kind of fixes that only add value to your home.
You can add equal amounts of value to your credit score and standing as well if you take that money and start paying down some of your debt. Of course, that spending spree hardly matches buying a new wardrobe, but it could be the difference between a lower rate on a car, house or having your credit cards cut right before your eyes.
It's hard not to get excited in preparation for that tax return check to be delivered to your door or neatly deposited in your account within a few days if you file online, but your jubilation should be met with poise and practicality, along with the wherewithal and understanding that cash in hand from “Uncle Sam” shouldn't translate into foolish purchases.