12 Things You Should Never Buy Full-Price

Photo: Flickr/flatbushgardener

With the Internet, helpful mobile phone apps and retailers scrambling to keep consumers in their shops, there’s no need to pay full-price for much of anything these days. To give you a boost, we tapped a few savvy shoppers for their tips on all the ways you can save.  

theatre tickets

'One of the greatest savings areas recently has been the theatre ticket business,' says Anna Aronovich, CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org.

Even if you're not going to be around NYC to score discount Broadway tickets this month, there are opportunities in nearly all cities to see shows on the cheap.

Some rewards programs like Optimum Rewards cost nothing to join and offer discounts on shows.

Beer

If you're looking to stock the fridge for your next poker night, don't hit the liquor store until you've checked out www.saveonbrew.com.

The company's been featured on a host of deals sites lately as one of the best ways to find discounts on brewski, says Jennifer Davidson, director of operations. (See some incredible uses for beer.)

'At any given time we have over 250,000 deals online, polling over 50,000 stores,' she says. Just type in your zip code and the site will pump out the best discounts in your area.

Cars

'Everyone knows you should 'never pay retail' (for a car),' says Edmunds.com senior editor, Phil Reed.

Check Edmunds.com's free True Market Value price check, which tells you the average price the car will sell in your region. That way you'll know if your dealer's sales pitch is generous or not. (See 8 questions every couple should ask before buying a car.)

'TMV figures are based on the actual sales of other cars of its kind in your area,' Reed says. 'The figure is then adjusted further for accuracy using sophisticated calculations designed by mathematicians at Edmunds.com.'

Legal advice

There are a slew of new sites on the web that are offering legal advice from actual professionals at a deeply discounted rate.

Check out a few of our favourites:

Shpoonkle.com

Legalzoom.com

RocketLawyer.com

All three sites offer access to attorneys from across the country. Just search their site for a lawyer in your price range and start saving as much as 30% off traditional rates.

Anything that comes with a plug

'From HD to 3D and built-in Wi-Fi, television manufacturers are constantly creating new features and releasing upgraded models that create a rapid depreciation,' says Julie Vlahon of Techbargains.com.

If you're not dead-set on having the latest version on the market, look older models to save or scope out deals at warehouse stores for affordable package bundles that come with extended warranties, she says.

Laptops are also a steal during the busy back to school sales season and you'll score a ton of deals throughout the holidays.

Dealnews does a great job listing the best products to buy on a month-to-month basis. Looks like February is prime time for TV lovers.

Just remember to skip the extended warranty.

Gift certificates and gift cards

If you haven't cottoned on to the secondhand gift card marketplace, you're missing out.

GiftCardGranny.com and CouponSherpa are a great source to nab discounted gift cards for hundreds of retailers. They're a also a favourite way to save, according to personal finance expert Andrea Woroch.

'You can score huge discounts for yourself or for a gift,' she says.

Shipping

These days, nearly all retailers offer some sort option to deliver your purchases to your doorstep without additional fees.

Rockstars like Zappos and L.L. Bean are among the rarest breed of businesses offering free shipping on every single purchase, says NerdWallet CEO Tim Chen. But most companies will demand a minimum purchase before letting you off the hook.

To help track down deals on shipping, Freeshipping.org is an excellent source.

Patio furniture

'Spring is when retailers heavily promote their summer merchandise and among them are expensive patio sets and outdoor furniture,' Woroch says.

'Hold off until after summer to enjoy huge sales of up to 80% off. Otherwise, head over to a local home consignment shop for discounts or check Craigslist for gently used alternatives.'

Don't turn up your nose a garage or yard sales, either. Chances are your neighbours might want to get rid of their old furniture to make way for something new.

E-Books

Yes, e-books are basically a discount in and of themselves, since they're far cheaper than the real thing.

But there are still more ways to save.

Many libraries have started to offer free e-book rentals from their websites. You can also check out books library-style for Amazon's Kindle store.

Video games

Check out LynxSquare.com, a group-buy marketplace that lets users sell off older versions of their video games online.

You can even pool your resources with friends if you can't afford some of the pricier games on the market.

eBay's another great source for finding discounted games and you can trade unwanted games on Swap.com as well.

Your college education

College tuition prices don't appear to be trending down anytime soon, so do all you can to find the best deals out there.

Don't stop hounding your student aid office until you've exhausted all your federal loan aid. Trust us: You don't want to have to turn to private student loans, which carry variable interest rates that can leap into the double-digits after you graduate.

If you're thinking about getting your degree online, check GetEducated.com, which publishes comparisons for online degrees nationwide.

Printer ink

Per technology consultant James Beswick:

'Manufacturers' mark-up on brand name ink cartridges is very high. There are local and online services that will refill your cartridges and toners for up to 80-90% off and I'm not sure anyone can tell the difference in the final printed product.'

Try 123inkjets.com for big savings.

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