When price isn’t always King

6 December 2013

online_shopping--At Bitterwallet, and across the HotUKDeals network, we know you like a bargain, and when savvy consumers are in the driving seat, price is often the most important factor when deciding on a purchase.

But price isn’t the only factor, and we’ve compiled a list of top ten reasons why you might consider paying a little bit more for a product, rather than always chasing the cheapest.

1. You want an easy life

Customers are a lazy lot, don’t try and deny it. Anything retailers can do to make the buying experience quicker and more streamlined might mean you are willing to pay (a bit) more to save yourself some hassle. Why else has Amazon tried (repeatedly) to trademark “1-click” in various jurisdictions around the world? And no-one likes entering all those car insurance details every single time...

2. The one-stop shop

In the same theme as #1, if you can get what you want while shopping somewhere else, you may as well, even if it costs a bit more. From buying slightly more expensive bananas while already in Tesco, to picking up toilet roll in M&S, we’ve all done it at least once, right?

3. Delivery costs

The advantage of the High Street is that you don’t have to pay delivery- although you often have to pay parking charges instead. This is where supermarkets and retail park outlets, with their massive free parking spaces, can start ahead of the game.

Online, often what seemed a good deal on the product page can end up far less appetising once delivery charges are added to the basket. As a rule, people prefer delivery costs to be free (unsurprisingly), and larger retailers can often afford to throw delivery in for free, although even Amazon had to cut back on this recently.

To be honest though, this one’s a bit of a cheat- no-one minds paying more for the product if the overall delivered price is cheaper. However, it might be that you are more inclined to shop online with a retailer who has clear postage costs stated upfront, rather than waiting for a bombshell to land in a shopping basket, even if the cost is a bit more.

4. The need for speed

Instant gratification. That’s what we like, and we want our stuff as quickly as possible. While many people might baulk at coughing up silly prices for premium express delivery charges, you might be willing to part with a few more pounds if you know you will get the product in two days rather than seven.

5. You know the name

The top complaint tossed at iProduct owners is how much extra Apple owners are paying for the badge. Of course, a quick look at the tablet market shows that there are a number of other branded tablets in a similar price range to the iPad, and a plethora of unbranded tablets at a far cheaper price. Of course, the branded tablets are bound to be far more technically brilliant, but it’s up to the customer to decide how much extra they will pay, and for what. Or if they'd rather try Aldi's £9.99 champagne.

6. You’re not shopping at Primark*

When you’re buying a shirt, for example, you could buy one from Primark, or you could buy one from Marks and Spencer. One will be cheaper than the other, but one might very well disintegrate in the washing machine. Customers will pay more for perceived quality in a product.

7. You know there’s no quibbles

Guarantees, inclusive service plans and no-hassle returns are another reason you might pay more. Admittedly in some cases you might be getting more for your extra money (or not, assuming nothing does go wrong), but knowing the customer service is sorted might add pounds to the acceptable price.

8. The onward running costs

This is perhaps something that has only more recently come to the front of consumers’ minds. Now, not only can we see how much a house will cost us in energy costs before we buy it, things like white goods can also come with a ‘lifetime’ cost as well as a retail price.

For some, overall cost will be key, while others would rather pay less out in a lump sum and suffer higher annual costs. Either way, this information is becoming more important in purchasing decisions.

9. The difference in price is meh

If your preferred retailer is selling a product for a very similar price, you might just buy it from there anyway. Not necessarily just down to being in a one-stop shop, you might really like the salesman, and that preferred status might mean that the retailer doesn’t have to compete exactly on price to get your business.

10. You don’t know any better

The final reason you might pay more is because you don’t know any better. If you don’t know that a retailer is knocking £20 off the price of a tablet, or another retailer is doing 3 for 2 on Lego, you will happily pay the best headline price, not realising you could have done better elsewhere.

Best way to avoid these traps is to shop around, and to keep an eye on deal hacker sites to make sure you are on the cutting edge of the top deals. And very definitely don’t shop around just to check you got the best price after you’ve bought it- unless you can change your mind!

So what do you think? Are these good reasons for paying more, or is cheap as chips your modus operandi. Let us know below…

*other cheaper retailers are available

1 comment

  • Piero
    All when and good until you need to return it... The one beauty of buying online is that You have 7 days to return it. If the thing breaks after several months, you can simply fish out the receipt from your email and no hunting around the house for your only copy.

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