There are two basic types of shoppers: convenience shoppers and bargain hunters. Convenience shoppers want the item they're looking for to be readily available and are willing to pay any price to have it now, whether it's a set of snow tires or a glass vase for their living room. Bargain hunters, meanwhile, are willing to spend days, weeks, or even months searching for the item they want if it means they can get it at a discount over the retail price. If you're looking for ways to save money in the recession, let us teach you the basics of bargain hunting.
For most bargain hunters, it's not necessarily the price savings that gives them the satisfaction, but winning. In their minds, they're on a mission. That mission: to find used comic books for under $5.00. The longer their search, the sweeter their victory will be in the end because they had to face such adversity. It's not merely the end result they enjoy, though. There's also the thrill of the hunt - the possibility that they might find what they're looking for today - and the excitement of discovering other new items as a product of their search.
If you're new to bargain hunting, the most important thing you can do is train yourself not to expect to find what you want quickly. Bargain hunting is not like visiting the auto shop for a new wiper blade. It's more like looking for a needle in a haystack. To maximize your chances of success on your first few items, be as nonspecific in what you're looking for as possible or have several things that you can look for at once. You'll probably find at least one thing, which will empower you with a feeling of success.
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So where do bargain hunters shop? Bargain hunters shop at the same places you do - department stores and malls. The difference is that bargain hunters usually only look at the regularly priced merchandise to get a baseline on their price expectations. Then they spend most of their time in the sale section of the store, at discount or outlet stores, or at secondhand shops, flea markets, or at rummage sales. This is because the best place to find a bargain is in a shop where the owner has no idea of the item's worth.
If you want to be a serious bargain hunter, you'll have to give up the idea that you can find things that are as sparkly as the show vehicle in a dream car raffle. The reality is that in order to get a great discount, you may have to be willing to refinish, repair, slip cover, repaint, or clean up the item before you can use it.