A couple of months ago, I wrote a post called It Really Does Pay to Shop Around. I talked about how I saved us $10 by quickly comparison shopping online for some flea medication.
Oh, the glamour that is my life.
Today, you’re getting the second installment of It Really Does Pay to Shop Around. No, not more fleas. This time it’s something a whole lot … less… feline.
My husband is training to run a half-marathon with a bunch of guys from our shul. Now, he’s not a born runner, but he did spend three years in the Israeli Army, where he ran for his life on occasion, so I’d say he’s definitely got the raw potential.
Someone mentioned to him this cool running gadget called the Adidas miCoach, which builds a course-specific training personalized program. It gives you real-time audible coaching along with up-to-the-second heart rate, speed, distance and stride data. Plus, the miCoach syncs up with your iPod, so you’ve got rocking tunes to keep you running.
Sounded great. I had just one question: “How much does it cost?”
Suggested retail price is $139.99, which includes the miCoach Pacer, Heart Rate Monitor and Stride Sensor.
Now we obviously don’t have a miCoach category in our budget. And it would have taken my husband five months of saving his (meager) blow money to be able to afford this little gadget.
We briefly considered taking the cash out of our gift fund, but I am loathe to do that.
Then – like a clear sign of beshertitude – we realized that we were due a $150 cashback rewards check from Chase. Normally, we put these checks toward one of our savings goals.
But since running is a fairly inexpensive way to work out anyway, and since I really want my husband to succeed in this goal, I agreed that we could funnel the cashback check toward the miCoach.
Now it was time for the fun part — finding the best deal. DH took the lead.
He checked both Adidas.com and Amazon and calculated that after tax and shipping, this turn-me-int0-a-marathoner device was going to cost us $151 minus 6% cashback from Ebates (if he ordered through Adidas), for a total of $142.
Yikes, that sounded like a lot of money to me. I mean, “Yay! You’re going to run a half marathon”, but, “Gah, does it have to cost us $142?!”
So, I sucked in my breath and said, “Let me see if I can do better.”
Which of course I did! (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
$107, baby! Thankyouverymuch.
Here’s how I saved us almost 30%:
- I searched for the micoach on Slick Deals and learned that there had been a killer deal on Amazon. In November. We could have waited – and often times patience is the best way to get a great deal – but I knew that DH was sort of passed the point of patience, so I kept checking.
- I perused a couple of running message boards to see if there was any chatter about killer deals. Nothing of note.
- Then I looked up the micoach on Google Product and got a list of 15 different vendors, with prices starting at $125.95.
- I worked my way down the GP list, starting from the least expensive, searching for Ebates and ShopatHome cash-back amounts, plus checking for coupon codes from RetailMeNot.
- The best deal was from Running Warehouse for $125.95. That was almost 15% less than my husband had found, but I wanted to do even better. (Yes, I’m competitive that way. Maybe I should be training for the half-marathon!)
- I found a coupon code on RetailMeNot for 15% off (yeah, baby!), but then had to do some more searching to figure out where to enter the code. They didn’t make it easy.
- Once I finally figured it out, I plugged in the code and brought my total down to $107.06! Thereby earning bragging rights as the Money Saving Queen of our House!
From the time that I said, “Let me see if I can do better” until the moment that I got my email confirmation of our order, it took 30 minutes. Now half an hour is real time, so I don’t want to discount that.
But the way I see it, I had a lot of fun finding a much better deal than DH (told you I was competitive) — and I saved us $35 in 30 minutes. That’s an after-tax rate of $70/hour. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Are you a super saving sleuth? Share the details of your “It Pays to Shop Around” prowess in the comments!