I'm slowly learning that everything can be had for a bargain. Paying sticker price is rarely either a good idea or your only option. There are some days that this goes better than others. For instance, I shoot for an average 10% coupon rate at the grocery store, but that means that I range anywhere from about 4% to my all time high of 17%.
Today, though, I'm pretty sure I got one of my best deals ever on books. I purchased three books (not all for me) which were list prices of $29.99, $15.00, and $15.00, or $59.99 total. At least, that's what they would have been in the bookstore...
I do a lot of my shopping online; it makes it easier to compare prices, make calmer decisions, and to walk away from an item I'm not 100% sold on. Knowing that I wanted to purchase these books, I turned to online retailers to see what kind of a deal I could get. I settled on Barnes & Noble because I had a gift card and because I almost always have a coupon. Amazon rarely sends out coupons and Barnes & Noble has been on a successful push to narrow the online price gap (the difference in totals came out to a few cents and I don't remember in whose favor).
Just for shopping online, the prices of the books are $16.43, $8.72, and $10.59, or $35.74 total. That's already a 40% discount, just for clicking the mouse instead of wasting gas money! The other great thing about internet shopping is how savvy people have thought of so many smart ways to use the web. So even though the most recent email coupon I had from Barnes & Noble was expired, I just Googled "Barnes & Noble coupon", and voila, coupon codes! In this case from Retail Me Not, which had a 25% off one item code. After putting that in, my final total was $31.63, a 47% discount. Could it get better? Oh yeah.
The piece de resistance is that I had a $11.14 gift card from returning a book I purchased a few months ago and decided I would never get around to reading in my recent book elimination efforts (new post on that coming soon!). Because I made a smart choice in trading in a book I wouldn't read, I paid $11.14 less than the discounted price for books I will read. It hardly seems worth mentioning that the credit card I used to finish the transaction gives me 5% back on book purchases (I will, of course, pay off the balance just as soon as the transaction clears and my books arrive).
Even after factoring in taxes, and we all know lower sales price means less sales tax, I paid $21.56 for what should have been a $64.19 purchase. I saved myself 66% off the sticker price. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!
Could I have done better? Believe it or not, yes! If I had a Barnes & Noble Membership I could have saved another 10% off the discounted price (saving about another $3, or 5% overall). I could also have purchased a discounted gift card to use on the purchase. I could have gotten my purchase price below $15 if I had really wanted to, and honestly, I'm kicking myself a little bit that I didn't. But not too hard. Because you have to admit, 66% off is a pretty awesome discount.