Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saving the Moola: know your price point and don't budge from it!

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What do you consider a good price on cereal? How about on a great sweater you know you'll wear again and again, until it literally is falling apart?

While a price book can help with determining your buy-now price for cereal (as an FYI, my buy-now price is $1.50), your price point for a great sweater cannot be determined by a price book. In fact, the price point for a great sweater possibly cannot even be determined based on where you live, what stores you have access to, etc. The price point for items may be something that is affected by how you were raised, the value you place on objects and your faith.

Knowing your personal price points for items is absolutely a sticky business, and your price point for a great sweater possibly won't even come close to mine (as an FYI, my price point for a great sweater is $50).

You won't create a book to fill with price points for objects; it's something you carry in your mind. For instance, each month, I have a clothing budget, an entertainment budget and a crafting budget. When certain needs come up, by researching online, looking in stores and just knowing myself and what I am willing to pay, I come up with a price point. Jason was recently gifted with a free bike that was practically brand new. This was great as there were certain costs we had to incur for him to safely and responsibly ride his bike. We had a list and set out shopping. He needed: a bike helmet, a bike lock, a tire pump and a backpack. He also happened to need new flip flops, although those were not related to his new bike.

I didn't really have a price point in mind for the items for the bike. I knew I wanted to spend $100 or less on the helmet, bike lock, tire pump and backpack combined, and I knew I would never spend more than $25 on a backpack. My price point for flips flops was also $25.

We purchased a helmet, bike lock and tire pump for $65, and that left $35 for a backpack. I was truly shocked by the prices of backpacks. There were few at the $25 price point (in fact, there were none at the first store we shopped), and the backpacks at that specific store went all the way up to $150! I was in sticker shock, that's for sure. I could have budged from my price point and thought, Well, I guess that's the best we can do.

But I knew $25 was a perfectly reasonable price for a backpack and I was completely unwilling to budge. We kept on shopping. We found awesome, sturdy flip flops at Payless for $21.19 (including tax), so I was more than happy that we came in under my price point for that. My price point is the high end of what I am willing to spend - if we had found flip flops for $25, I would have been disappointed. My goal, in having a price point, is to find flip flops that completely meet our needs that are less than $25. This may be weird, but we never claimed to be normal!

I had a list of items I was looking for as well, and on that list was a frame that was cat-themed. On a lark, I suggested we go to Burlington's to look at frames. To my disappointment, the particular Burlington's we visited didn't have any frames, but right at the front of the store, right where we walked in, was a display of backpacks. And wouldn't you know it: there was a backpack, priced for $21.19, including tax, that completely fit our needs. I was so happy! We giddily purchased it.

Price points rely heavily on one's instincts and what one is willing to pay. You could choose a price point that may seem unreasonable, but I ask you to trust in yourself. If a specific price point has been put on your heart, trust in that. Trust that the item will find its way to you at the exact price you desire it to be.

Years and years ago, I had a need for a second pitcher. I had purchased one from the Pampered Chef line, and it was so functional. I absolutely desired to have a second just like it. I added this to my list of items to search for at garage sales. That summer, at the first garage sale we went to, I found the exact pitcher, the same exact pitcher, for $1. I had paid around $15 for the first one.

I was in shock. I could not believe the exact item I desired to have was right in front of my face. I scooped up that pitcher so fast, you would have thought it was Black Friday and I was after the hottest toy of the season! (Never mind that the garage sale had just started and my then-fiance (now-husband) and I were the only ones there!)

Any time I shop, I have a specific price point in mind. Keep in mind that your price points will differ depending on what you value. I gladly pay $50 or so for my favorite face cleanser. One large bottle lasts an entire year, but this is still a pretty hefty price. You may gladly pay $100 for a great sweater. I gladly pay $80 for a great pair of shoes (not flip flops). You may gladly pay $20 for a great pair of shoes.

Having a price point will help you shop with a purpose and shop responsibly. I'd love to hear some of your price points on the comments below or on our Facebook page!

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