Do You Feel Bad When The Price Drops After You Purchase?

Is there anything worse than making a purchase and seeing the price drop immediately after?

In this sense, I’m usually the bearer of bad news. Don’t try bragging to me that you got a good price on your new technology. Did you hear about the best deal I ever got? Simply put, you won’t match me. But if you need help getting a discount, just let me know, I’m more than happy to help.

When my friend questioned my decision to dish out $200 to upgrade my iPhone, I told her I made a bunch of money selling the iPhone on Craigslist. Her response? “Of course you did.”

There are times that I want to shove it in your face. Don’t get overly excited because big trees fall hard.

But here’s my real question: if you’re happy with the price you got, why do you care what anyone else paid? If you’re happy with your deal, be happy with it. Don’t let me bring you down.

There are some great posts about this topic. I won’t try and match them. But what it boils down to is that there are two types of people, maximizers and satisficers. Maximizers are the type of people who must always get the best deal. Satisficers are happy with getting a pretty good deal. Guess who’s happier? Satisficers.

For maximizers knowing that they could have gotten it cheaper ruins it for them, even if they did pretty damn well.

In some ways, I’m a hardcore maximizer, even if I talk about the big picture. I love getting a great deal. On my last shopping trip, I got 18 bottles of pasta sauce and 18 boxes of pasta for $27. Usually the sauces are $2.50 apiece and the pasta is $1 each, so we saved $36, or a cool 57%. I can’t get enough of that! I’ve been tracking the price of an external hard drive for about 3 years now, and maybe this Black Friday will be the point I pull the trigger.

I try my best to be a satisficer, even if it doesn’t come naturally. I talk about big wins and I don’t clip coupons. I set larger than necessary budgets so I won’t be pressured into saving so much that it cramps my lifestyle. If I’m on the fence about a purchase, I go for it so the stress doesn’t eat me up, and I don’t micromanage my finances. I sweep excess savings into my bank account just once a month.

Hopefully I’ll teach you to be a satisficer.

6 Responses to Do You Feel Bad When The Price Drops After You Purchase?

  1. Evan says:

    If we are comparing apples to apples (i.e. purchasing a similar product within weeks of each other) then I 100% Maximizer. Knowing that if I just did 5 mins more of work to save 20 bucks kills me!

    • Daniel says:

      @Evan, My girlfriend is the opposite of me. She’ll buy on impulse constantly, even though she knows I can get her any discount she wants or faster shipping. Then, the item will arrive faster than she expected and it will reinforce her (bad) behavior. Drives me nuts.

  2. Sandy @yesiamcheap says:

    I don’t get mad when the price drops. I just see if they price match if it’s a large item! Many stores do that now. I recall when I purchased my bed on Saturday and by Monday the price fell by $400. The bed hadn’t been sent out for delivery yet, so I called up the company to see if they price matched. It was a simple call because they immediately reduced the price with ho haggle or hassle. One phone call saved me $400. :)

    • Daniel says:

      @Sandy @yesiamcheap, That’s awesome, most people don’t take advantage. Your situation was made even easier because if they said no, you could just tell them to cancel the order completely. You had all the power!

  3. Noah says:

    Finding the best price is always a matter of how much time do you want to spend on research. I’ve come to the point in my life that spending 10-20 hours over the span of a month or so isn’t worth saving $20 or even $50. For major purchases, I wait at least 1 month after having the initial idea to see if I am still interested. If so, I’ll use froogle.com and find the best price at the time. If I have the money in my spending fund, I’ll buy it without thinking twice.

    The bottom line (especially with technology) is that the price will always be cheaper in the future. However, waiting several years may not be worth it. In your case of buying an external hard drive, if you had sensitive data that was not being backed up because you wanted to wait a few years for prices to drop, you are taking a risk. Plus, there is the slippery slope of “I don’t want to buy it now because something better is coming”.

    • Daniel says:

      @Noah, Those are good strategies for prioritizing your purchases and saving your time for valuable things.

      I know people who have put off getting a new phone because they’re waiting for the next new technology, constantly putting the purchase off.

      In my case, I have all my data backed up in the cloud, and there’s not too much sensitive data anyway, so it is more of a luxury than anything else.

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