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Bargain Shopping Done Right

Submitted by maculated on 2002-04-13

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Okay, I'll admit it: I like owning nice things. I like looking at these things and feeling delight over the fact that (a) they are nice and (b) I own them. But what I like most about stuff is that I almost never pay full retail price. You can, too, with a little effort and dedication. That's what I'm here to do, I'm here to show you how.

The best part about this is that it translates to your everyday life, not just climbing. I got a used care worth $9000 for $7000. I got a roof rack worth $600 for $350. Gary Fischer mountain bike worth $600? Paid $450. I even got a wet suit worth $150 for $85.

I'm not a shrewd person, I just know how systems work, and I work with them. Ready to learn how? Click to the next page. [page] Anything over $100 is negotiable

You heard me right. It is. Anytime you go into ANY shop, anywhere, think about profit on the part of the store.

Most retail pricing goes like this: X is the amount that a company pays to make a pair of pants. This company then charges 2X to retailers to cover pants and profit, as well as pay their salespeople. Retailers then charge twice this for their own profit. Retail price is very often 4 times the actual price the thing cost to make. So . . . ask yourself how much you think it is worth.

But how do you know how much an item is worth? Simple. Research. Say you're going to buy a rope. Research the heck out of that rope and ropes like it. Look for prices. Find the cheapest one. Arm yourself with this knowledge. Look at the ropes in a price bracket just above and below it. Know the difference.

Once you know this, you can go into a retail store and catch employees in error. If you prove you know what you're doing, and spend a long time on it . . . you'll get your way in the end. That store's making 100% profit at retail price. Big ticket items are worth selling, even at reduced prices.

The key, however, is not to start low. Go in, figure how much the rope is worth, but say nothing. Ask about features. Demonstrate that you know as much, if not more, about said rope as employee. Ask price. Then say, "Well, I saw that Store A was selling it for this price . . . is there anyway you can work with me?" If so, don't haggle. Offer your fair price and be done with it. [page] Bargain Bin Shopping

Know where your outlet stores are and memorize these locations. I picked up a brand new Mountain Hardware jacket at an Any Mountain outlet for $50 - $150 off the retail price because the first buyer saw a feather and thought it was losing loft.

If you have any favorite stores, a good strategy is to go straight for the sale and clearance section and don't even look at what's not discounted. You won't miss what you don't know is there.

The same goes for internet sites. Visit the sale links and keep an eye out for deals. If you have something specific in mind, be patient. Odds are, it will come up. [page] Be Internet Savvy

The internet is the most easy and efficient way to save money. If you've been doing the previous steps, you'll find you can get a lot more, and get it a lot faster via the internet. International websites like charge way below regular price in America - but watch out for hidden costs like duties and shipping.

Check out discount websites like,, and

Check out (But remember that not everything on there is a steal. That's where following the research rule comes in.) Go to if you have a specific item you're looking for and they'll turn up products with the lowest prices.

All in all - if you're willing to work, it can work for you. Good luck and have fun.


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