Sales Shopping vs. Value Shopping
Recently, I added “sales tracking” to the site so products currently available at reduced price are easy to spot. I even added sales as one of the “best of” page type so you can browse the most reduced products at any moment.
The closest we had before that was the Value rating; lowering the price of a product, after all, improves its "bang for the buck".
I then added a "best of" for Deals, a more balanced approach to automatically find the sales most worthwhile right now.
The three methods have their own merits so I’ll go over the differences:
That’s how I used to shop for technology before I got started with TekAdvisor. It’s the simplest way of doing things, especially if you take a manual approach. Reduced items are heavily advertised and savings are (usually) pretty clear.
In the best cases, a sale allows you to get a better device than what you could usually afford.
The sales system on TekAdvisor is entirely based on historical pricing and not just the price reduction at one specific retailer. So products will only show up as discounted if it's priced under the best regular price on the market.
Cyclical sales still show up as sales (as long as the product has spent less time at reduced price than the “regular” price). The example above comes from an actual tablet which is no longer active on this site. Since it was more often on sale than not, its regular price would be considered to be around 269$; not the 380$ advertised by retailers.
Another useful feature; TekAdvisor also lets you know if the current rebate is as good as it's ever been. Products which go on cyclical sales sometimes go on half-sales. When that happens, it's often more profitable to wait for the next full rebate; which could happen right after the current sale. So, when a product's rebate label says "Best price yet!", you know it's probably not worth to wait for another sale.See which products are the most discounted right now.
Some products don’t go on sale and get off the market at “regular price”. Some of those products can be better deals than the ones which are on sale - sometimes.
Value shopping lets you know concretely how much you’re getting for the price. The downside of that method is: it involves a lot of number crunching and quite a bit of reading; unless you use a site like TekAdvisor.
But even while Value shopping, keeping an eye on sales is useful. At equal Value, a product on sale could offer advantages which aren’t factored into the Value score. For instance: a bigger screen (that could be a good or a bad thing), a sturdier build or simply a more elegant product.See which products offer the best bang for the buck right now.
TekAdvisor offers a third option; highlighting the best value among all devices currently available at a reduced price. I call that approach "finding the best deal".
It balances the pros and cons of Value and Sales shopping by sorting offers by value rather than by price reduction. It's fast and sensible and, in most cases, it will deliver the best results. There are still cases where you could miss comparable products available at their regular price, but it's less likely.See which discounted products offer the best bang for the buck right now.
In the end, each strategy is valid; they even complement each other. I do prefer the Value-centric approach because it helps put sales prices in context. Did the sale contribute making this product a great deal or are there equivalent products at regular price?
As far as TekAdvisor is concerned, most lists on the site are sorted by Value but the emphasis is put on products which are strong enough to meet your expectations without over-spending.
Get notified of sales every weekend
Yes, you read that right: I do send sales notifications weekly. This might sound a little contradictory but Value is pretty constant through a product's life; the main exception to that is when it goes on sale.
It's a useful feature, especially if you were looking for a new device and money's tight. Just keep an eye on the device's Value ranking to make sure this really is a better deal than something you would buy at regular price.