Investing Unit 3: Comparison Shopper

November 13, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Comparison shopping is the customer’s best, but least used, technique when spending regardless of the type of expenditure. Comparing prices and products can save as much as 50% off a price you might have paid without making the comparison. Comparison shopping makes good sense. It is important to remember that an over-spender isn’t just someone who spends more than he earns. An over-spender is also anyone who pays too much for things, especially when items or services purchased are conveniently available for less.

Practice the "Rule of Three." For every product or service that you are planning to purchase, especially large and/or infrequently purchased items, compare the cost and features offered by at least three competing vendors.

Internet shoppers can find comparison shopping resources at "shopping bot" (short for robot) Web sites such as and The benefits of comparison shopping are more than the money saved. Comparison shopping puts you in control of your finances. It helps you learn more about the products and services you are interested in buying. As a more informed consumer, you are able to make better spending decisions. Additionally, each success will reinforce your resolve to comparison shop again. By making wise consumer decisions and getting a good value for less, shoppers are able to save and/or invest the money saved.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.