Lesson Applied: Lower Prices Usually Return

Last year, my dad opened my eyes to a pretty simple theory about prices.  It’s a simple theory.  It says that if lower prices go away, they will typically return.  Remember, no price is set in stone!

That One Time Deal

I learned the lesson last year when we were computer shopping.  My wife’s laptop was no longer working well for her online business, so we decided that it was time to get a new laptop.  My dad has always been very tech savvy and on top of the latest trends, as well as what is good pricing.

Don’t pull the trigger too soon!

I found a laptop that I liked and sent him the specifications and the pricing.  This was an advertised ‘one day deal’ site, so you had 24 hours to take advantage of the deal.

My dad and I spoke and while it was a good computer at a good price, he felt that it was not something that we had to necessarily jump at, as he thought that we would either find the deal to come back at the same or lower price, or that we’d find an even better machine at the same price.  As it turned out, he was right on both accounts.  The deal was actually extended past the 24 hour window, and within a few days, we found a much better equipped machine at a comparable price, and so far it has worked out very well.

Learning The Lesson

One of the things that has been moving up our list is to replace our wireless router.  We currently have two wireless networks running in our house, neither of which is meeting our level of satisfaction.  We have an older Linksys router, I’m talking 7-8 years old, that doesn’t have great range and seems to have gotten more and more flaky.  I’m concerned about security as Netgear has never released even a firmware update for it.  I’ve thought about getting rid of it altogether but there are a couple of devices which have seemed to work better on this network, so it’s always avoided the ax.

We also use the built in network offered by our cable company.  The range on it is terrible, but we do have a range extender, and it’s only compatible with this device.

Basically, it’s a patchwork situation, and both networks just don’t offer what we need.

We’ve been looking at a new router for awhile, and I had my mind settled on one in particular.

I’d been looking on Amazon, and it has been around $99.  I had budgeted $100 for a router, and that was the maximum I was willing to pay.  Now that Amazon charges sales tax, the $99 price would actually run us about $105 and change.

No good, especially since I used the Camelizer plugin on Chrome to show that it’s been as low as $85-90 before.

Since it wasn’t something we needed urgently, I decided to apply my dad’s principle, and to wait.

Applying The Lesson

I checked every day and the price was roughly the same for about a two week period.  It was $99.87 or so most of the time, typically going down around a quarter.  I did miss one opportunity when I saw it for $91, but I was somewhere where I couldn’t take the time to finish the transaction, and by the time I looked the next day, it was back up to $99.

So I waited.

Finally, on Easter, I hit paydirt. It was $89!  This plus sales tax made it roughly $95.  So, instead of going $5 over my budget, which is what I could have done by not waiting, sitting back and waiting for the price to return actually left me with $5 extra.

That’s what I call a win any day!  Thanks, Dad!

Readers, have you ever used patience to make sure to get the price you wanted? When you see a ‘never to be repeated’ price, do you jump on it?  Or do you find that waiting is the best way to go?

6 thoughts on “Lesson Applied: Lower Prices Usually Return”

  1. Your discipline is pretty impressive to wait for a $5 (or 5%) price drop. I would have pulled the trigger earlier.

    But to be honest, I am not particularly good at expense management.

    I tend to look at purchases a little differently. I don’t like “one day only” sales. I don’t like to be pressured into buying something on someone else’s time frame. And because of that, I may pay more than someone else.

  2. Funny you should mention about purchasing a router since I just did that (+ a modem) this week from Amazon. I used Camel…Camel to watch for a price drop on a TP-Link model but couldn’t wait any longer since the installation was in a few days. Of course, 2 days after my purchase the price dropped $10! I thought I was stuck until I did some research. Turns out Amazon will price guarantee items they sell within 7 days. They were very nice and refunded me the difference.

  3. Great thing about consumer electronics is that they are almost guaranteed to drop in price. Especially so if you are looking to buy brand new electronics. I read somewhere that the original iPhone dropped in price by about $200 within a few months of release. If you live in a state with 5% sales tax you’re looking at saving $210 just by delaying a phone purchase. Though usually for standard pieces of equipment like routers or modems, the price seems to be pretty set. As the new ac routers start coming through there will probably be a steep dropoff after a year or two.

    • True, but the caveat with electronics is that rather than get the older version for cheaper once the price falls, many people just buy the updated version at the same or higher price.

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