Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Comparing Real Numbers

By Suzanne O'Connor

Here’s the rub….

Retail, aka MSRP is a Marketing ploy. It is just a suggested price. Doesn’t mean that anything ever sold at that price. Corporations / Manufacturers want you to use it as the baseline / comparison price.

The issue is many items do not ever sell at the original retail…. and then again, many items do, which makes it difficult to discern value.

For years I have used Department Store pricing and MSRP as the comparison price to discern discount levels. But now, I mostly use Amazon pricing which varies from MSRP to 30% below MSRP. Or shall I say, what they call original retail.

I have found that much of what is referred to, as “original retail” on Amazon is suspect. Where do they get those numbers? Did Amazon ever sell it at that price? Maybe. Did the manufacturer? Hard to tell, which is why I find it doubtful. It’s just a marketing tactic to get you to think you’re getting a good deal.

As usual, it’s buyer beware everywhere. Just because they say it’s so… doesn’t mean it is.

Real market retail tends to be 20%-30% below “MSRP Retail”.  However, the wholesale and retail markets, distribution and retailer mark up is very fluid and can cause real extreme variations in pricing.

Additionally, many items are priced at what “they” think it will sell for. Not what it costs to make and distribute at all. Profit is the name of the game and it is worked into the original pricing and discounting of many products.

So if you want to get the best deal you have to have a continuous working knowledge of the market place. Easier said than done.

You can and should do a lot of your own research. Some of which is easy like checking labels, content, quality of items you see when you’re out shopping. Ask the sales people questions. You will occasionally get answers that are very insightful.  Do internet searches to compare pricing. But most importantly, learning how and where things are made.

It’s up to each of us to be as informed as possible, so we can make our hard earned money go farther. I’ll do my best to try to help you with that.

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