Perhaps the coolest advantage of being a senior citizen is having the latitude, wisdom and ability to be a patient shopper. Mature shoppers, armed with new technology and old knowledge, will wait for the proper reviews of the products to become a more informed buyer before they decide if the item is worth all the hype.
“I may be 71, but I am not a senior-citizen,” laughed Harvey Slocum of Houston, Texas this morning. “In my mind, I’m a smart 40-year-old looking for the best deals and I use the Internet to find them.”
Slocum, like many Baby Boomers are less likely to stand in overnight premiere sales event lines for the latest and greatest technology gizmos. They realize buying a brand new product just introduced to the market comes with paying the full and highest amount. Computers, cameras, and cellphones usually drop in price after the dust settles, especially when some reviews come in less than exemplary. Smart shoppers wait it out for the prices to drop. Patience allows some to get incredible deals from EBay or Craigslist where dissatisfied users who barely used the product want to sell.
While it may seem mature consumers stay with traditional shopping standards like malls and stores, according to a study by Older Americans Technology Services (OATS), 58% of senior citizens who subscribe to the Internet do so for shopping for products and services. Results show 46% of them are looking for bargains on products. As more Boomers gain Internet skills the figures rise.
“I have the time now that I am retired,” said Slocum. “So why not use my time and patience to get the better bargains?”
Here are some of the best techniques and tips seniors have found to acquire great discounts and pay less for items younger buyers spend.
Leave Items in the Cart
Retailers miss two trillion each year on sales that are left in their on-line shopping carts. To assure sales the vendor will offer coupons so that the shopping cart will be empty at checkout. The best way to receive this deal is to take items all the way to the payment page and then just leave them there and ignore it. About twenty five percent of retailers will send a message informing of a special deal, coincidently for the very item almost purchased. This method works more often with high-end retailers and less with groceries and daily supplies. Seniors have the patience to pull this often get results about one out of four times.
“Instead of searching scores of different websites savvy online shoppers have discovered DealNews.com,” Beverly Demora of Henderson, Nevada affirmed. “This site simplifies the process by removing the excessive number of clicks and finds the sales with a listing of vendors, both online and store front. They show upcoming deals specifying how big of a sale it will be, when the sale begins, when it ends and what items will be on sale.”
“Consumers have to be careful here,” cautions Peter Debrille, 68, of Cleveland, Ohio. “There are too many fake or expired codes on many discount coupons sites.”
Although many retailers, especially restaurant and fast food sites, offer online coupons on their sites, Chippmunk. offers a safe and reliable coupon collection. Senior like that they take into account individualized budgets as it will ask for a price range as soon as one pulls up their page. Chippmunk also displays the rating of the sale and confirmation from other users that the coupon is legitimate.
The current best apps for competitive and special offers is Slickdeals. Simply scroll through current deals on specific products, to find their bundle of offers with related items and other unique add-ons like free shipping or a buy one get one free offer. They categorize deals into featured, front page, popular and local. Slickdeals is good about finding the unique sales that vendors nearby are offering. Slickdeals users are allowed to vote up or down and comment on the deal and the product.
Gasbuddy allows consumers to you search for gas prices by city, state, zip code, with listings for all cities in the USA and Canada. Updated in real-time, with national averages, trip calculators and other perks. As of this writing, regular gasoline prices within a ten mile radius from this Examiner’s location in central Texas revealed a .21 cent difference from the highest to lowest price per gallon.