Online sellers and retail stores aren’t exactly best friends. The popularity of the internet and advancements in shipping and transportation have made ordering stuff online a breeze. It’s also made the job of retailers more difficult – while the internet might help you spread word of your retail business, it also pits you against sellers that do most of their business online.
This has made it difficult for stores to keep up in terms of prices as they deal with additional costs of running a real-world business. We’re all familiar with the pros and cons of both methods: buying online is cheaper but a cat-in-the-bag deal whereas buying from retail stores is more expensive but lets you examine the goods. But is there a way for customers to get online prices from local retail stores?
Getting the best deal – at any cost?
Since most stores let customers freely examine an item regardless of intent to purchase, people have devised a sly way to get the best of both worlds: you check an item out in the store and, should you decide to buy it, make the purchase online.
It sounds good, but there are a few issues with this practice. Most importantly, it hurts the business in the worst way, essentially making it send its clientele over to the competitors. Many have an issue with this and prefer to either buy online right away or buy the item from the store after examining (and liking) it. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about harming someone financially in order to buy things at online prices from retail stores – you’ll just need a keen eye.
Discounts and multiple stores – picking the right time and place
One thing online stores oftentimes lack are attractive discounts. Due to surplus goods or the arrival of new ones, retail stores can offer discounts that range anywhere from a mild 5-10 percent to 50 or even 75 percent that will make you feel as if you are robbing the store instead of buying from it.
Of course, we can’t always get what we want at a discount. There’s two ways around this: you either buy something similar to what you originally wanted, or you talk to an employee in the store. The latter can prove to be particularly effective in some stores, as they will have no trouble informing customers of upcoming discounts weeks or even months before schedule – if you know an employee on a personal level, even better.
Also, remember that not all stores inside an area boast the same prices. Different businesses have different running costs, even if they offer the same merchandise. With a little bit of searching, you might be able to find a local store that sells its goods at online prices, or very close to it. Most often, these will be larger stores belonging to known or semi-known brands.
Online purchases might be going strong, but plenty of people still find that nothing beats buying at a local retail store, both due to convenience and the fact that it helps support businesses in your area.