When Not to Compare Prices

Goods That Rarely Have Discounts

When Not to Compare Prices
October 7, 2015

Finding deals and saving money whenever possible feels great. In fact, we normally suggest you shop around to find the lowest price or a special promotion that will save you money. However, some goods rarely have discounts and you would be wasting your time looking for a better price. It is not impossible to find discounts on the items listed below, but they would be considered very rare.

Brand New Technology

Early adopters pay a hefty price to get their hands on the latest technology before everyone else. Manufacturers know this and generally set prices high when new technology first hits the market. Some people will pay anything to be the first person with the latest smartphone, so companies rarely, if ever, discount their goods within the first phase of the product's lifecycle.

Luxury Items

Most luxury items never end up going on sale. The appeal of luxury items is the fact that not everyone can afford them. They are rare and being able to afford them allows people to feel like these goods give them a higher social status. Due to this unique situation, it would not make sense for luxury retailers to discount their goods. In fact, it could make the items less desirable.

Specialty Items

Specialty items are another group of items that rarely go on sale. Some of these items are never discounted because they are only made by one company. If that is the case, that company has complete control of the supply, which means they can charge whatever price they choose. Other items are based on once–in-a-lifetime events, such as weddings. People will pay almost anything to have the perfect item for a special event.

Goods with Minimum Advertised Price Arrangements

If you notice that prices for an item are the same everywhere you look, chances are the retailer and the manufacturer have entered into a minimum advertised price arrangement (MAP). Basically, a MAP means retailers will not advertise a price lower than the MAP specifies. They may charge a lower price, but they just cannot advertise it. You will often see this on websites where an item is listed as a price "too good to show" and the site requires you to put it in your shopping cart to see the final price.

Other MAP arrangements will not allow the shopping cart trick, such as Canon with its digital cameras and lenses. To find these deals, you must contact retailers directly and ask if any further discounts exist. Some of these MAP arrangements really do require retailers to stick to their guns and charge the minimum price, much like Apple does with its iPhones and iPods.

Hot Items Where Demand Is Greater than the Supply

As a general rule, if there is an item where the supply is smaller than the demand for it, you should not be able to find any discounts. In fact, you might have to pay a premium for these items. New game consoles, Furbies and Tickle Me Elmo dolls all experienced this phenomenon around Christmas when they were released.

Two Ways to Save Money on These Items

Two ways exist to save money on these items that are never discounted. Instead of buying many of these items brand new, buy them used. The other way to save is to wait until newer technology has been released or the supply has been replenished and the price naturally drops. Other than these two methods, it is usually a waste of time to compare prices on items that fall into these categories, as they are seldom discounted.


Photo ©iStock.com/Attila Fodemesi

  Conversation   |   20 Comments

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Steffanie | 10.07.15 @ 14:01
Good information to know to help you save time. I personally would wait for the prices to drop.
Erin | 10.07.15 @ 14:02
I always price shop, but then again, I'm not much of an early adopter or luxury goods buyer, so I rarely pay full price for something.
Jackie | 10.07.15 @ 14:03
I always wait until there are upgrades on technology and buy the older model. I don't care whether I have the latest model.
Sarah | 10.07.15 @ 14:04
Knowing when to shop around or not is good. I tend to wait and buy when it's cheaper. That's the luxury of being poor I guess haha
Debbie | 10.07.15 @ 14:05
I always price compare and sometimes that means ordering online and having to wait just to save a few dollars. I am not a techy person though so I have no interest in keeping up with the Jones' when it comes to new technology. If what I have works for me I don't need the upgrade.
Elaine | 10.07.15 @ 14:06
Definitely if they are speciality items (hot ticket items), grab now and don't wait. The item might not be there when you return.
Christina | 10.07.15 @ 14:12
I always wait and buy things once they've been around for a while, or buy used, because I refuse to spend that much money on something.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 10.07.15 @ 14:13
Great tips here i have seen on many items such as new mobile devices you will not see any discount but some retailers will offer incentives like accessories or gift cards to gain your business
Britt | 10.07.15 @ 14:14
This was great info, I honestly rarely shop around when it comes to electronics
Sara | 10.07.15 @ 14:25
Good to know. I normally wait for prices to drop.
Carla Truett | 10.07.15 @ 14:25
I will usually wait for the second edition of a tech item. That way, the bugs will be worked through. The key is patience.
Jennifer Sears | 10.07.15 @ 14:36
I've always been an impulse buyer, so I don't often shop around.
Jonathan | 10.07.15 @ 14:44
Eh I'm not 100% on board with this. There's always a deal out there and if you don't put a lil time into looking for it, you will get taken.
gracie | 10.07.15 @ 14:51
It never hurts to do a little research and shop around. I would rather wait until the price is right than dash out the moment something hits the sales floor.
Christina | 10.07.15 @ 14:54
I always wait for the price to go down. I coupon on everything I can, and keep a stock of the everyday items my family uses. When what you need goes on sale use coupons with them.
Heather | 10.07.15 @ 14:54
I never buy technology when it firsts comes out anyway. I want to make sure they work all the kinks out. And luxury items I guess it depends. And I always wait for prices to drop before making a purchase.
Leslie | 10.07.15 @ 14:59
I'm not one of those people that has to have the newest thing right away, so I'm willing to wait for what I want to be out awhile and be cheaper. It still pays to shop around though, because you never know if you'll find an unadvertised deal.
George Middleton | 10.07.15 @ 15:00
I cannot bring myself to pay what they want for some of this. In a few months there is something bigger and better as they say. I can live without all the new fab.
Alec | 10.07.15 @ 15:01
I always wait on new iPhones and items for my collection that are low supply due to coming from one company that sells only in Japan. Paying double the price for something when it is brand new when it will naturally go down in cost is silly, especially when you have a budget even for luxury items.
Kamie | 10.07.15 @ 15:01
I have seen some of the new hot ticket items, I just see no reason to spend that much when in a few months it will drop.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.08.16 @ 18:17
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