Don’t Get Stuck with Deal Envy

How to avoid the buyer’s regret that comes when you find a better deal

Ever purchase something big like a TV or small like a t-shirt only to find out that you could’ve gotten it cheaper elsewhere? Well, you are not alone. According to a new survey 9 out of 10 people suffer a psychological phenomenon called Deal Envy when that happens.

“Consumers experience emotional turmoil when they realize they could have found a better deal on an item and paid less for it,” reports RetailMeNot.com, a marketplace for coupons and deals. “It is regret combined with disappointment, jealousy mixed with anxiety.”

With the holiday season on the horizon, Deal Envy will be spreading. While price comparison tools give instant insight into lower prices elsewhere, Consolidated Credit advises that the following practices will also help stave off Deal Envy.

  • Practice comparative shopping. Whether you decide to go from store to store or website to website, be sure to compare prices before making that purchase. There is a slew of comparison tools online (websites or apps) that allow you to select a product and see how much other online vendors are selling the product for. In fact Shopify.com put some online comparison tools to the test and found that the most popular engines are Google Shopping, Nextag and Price Grabber. Simply go to your favorite search engine, type and search terms like “compare prices online” or “price comparison tool” and a list of stores or sites that sell the product will pop up displaying the prices.
  • Clip coupons and take advantage of price match guarantee programs. Always be on the lookout or go on a hunt for coupons. Be sure to check their expiration dates. Some stores like Toys ‘R Us will even guarantee that they have the lowest prices. Through their price match guarantee options, consumers can bring in the receipts for an item that they bought cheaper elsewhere and they will match that cheaper price. The item must be identical to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Take advantage of price adjustments within days of making a purchase. If the price of an item drops after you buy it, you can return it for an adjustment or return it and repurchase it at the lower price. Most stores afford you the opportunity to get a price adjustment within days of making a purchase. If the said item is cheaper at a different store, simply return the item if possible for a full refund and re-purchase it cheaper elsewhere. Be sure to take into consideration any coupons or discounts you may have used for the original purchase.
  • Start holiday shopping early. There is a common cry among late holiday shoppers – overspending. To save yourself from having to buy forcefully (at a higher price) to spread holiday cheer, start your holiday shopping early. Be sure to set a specific amount to each loved one on your list.

For more tips on how to avoid credit card debt this holiday season, visit Consolidated Credit and take advantage of their comprehensive Holiday Survival Guide. With a little help you can get the best deals this season and avoid a serious holiday debt hangover.