3 Powerful Tools for Accessing Competitive Markets

Do you like saving money without sacrificing quality? Of course! Who doesn't? Hands down, the best way to save money is by checking out the competition. Thanks to the internet, finding a competitive market is easier than ever.

Before the internet, consumers were tied down to the stores in their immediate vicinity. In small towns, if the local corner-store didn't carry it, you were stuck searching through mail-order catalogues. If a customer was lucky, they had access to three or four different sales channels.
But, now the internet is here. Companies like Amazon, E-Bay and Etsy offer consumers the opportunity to search for goods and compare pricing from a variety of sources. A google search can bring in millions of potential solutions to provide a product or service at a competitive price. And, the internet provides a source for reviews from past customers.

Let's take a closer look at a few of the best tools for online shoppers to take advantage of competitive pricing before hitting the "buy now" button.

Automotive Purchasing

According to some reports, Americans on average spend more than $8,000 per year on transportation costs. With median income in the US hovering around $42,000/yr, that means 19% of the average household's income is going towards automotive expenses. Any savings in this area can have a massive impact on lifestyle.

This is one reason companies like TrueCar are utilizing the insights offered by Big Data to provide car purchasers with better insights into the car buying process. Knowing how much a car is actually worth is important. Kelly Blue Book has always been a good resource, but more modern companies are offering actionable insights for car buyers that can help them save money and form a strong bargaining position.

But, in the automotive repair industry, it's traditionally proven to be much more difficult to compare costs and get quotes from multiple sources. Taking a broken vehicle from mechanic to mechanic for competitive bidding is time-consuming and costly; especially when a tow-truck is involved.

Automotive Repair and Parts

Thankfully, the internet is coming to the rescue once more with sites like 24/7 Spares; offering consumers competitive pricing on both automotive services and parts. By having access to pricing from a variety of sources, it's much easier to have an intelligent conversation with your local repair shop. Real numbers always beat wishful negotiating.

There are certain things you should always keep in mind when using a tool to gauge the true cost of an item or service:

  • No up-front fees for access to information.

  • Check multiple online sources for genuine reviews of the platform or service.

  • Always use more than one platform; the vendors on Amazon might be different than the ones on Newegg or E-Bay.

  • Double check the condition of the item. In a rush, "new" and "like-new" might look similar.

  • Get firm details on the warranty offered. Some manufacturers void warranties when purchasing from unauthorized vendors.

The power of the internet has connected an endless number of vendors with consumers that need their products and services. In less than 72 hours, it's easy to get an item to your front-door. Plus, most retailers now offer in-store pickup for orders placed online. Seriously, if you aren't competitively pricing items online, you're probably paying too much!