INTRODUCTION: Save Money Online
I love Amazon.com. It was my go to place for shopping. I used to go shopping at Wal-Mart or the mall and always comparison shop on Amazon. Without fail I could find it cheaper on Amazon. It was worth the wait to have the product shipped to me in order to save 10-25% over the brick and mortar prices. In addition free shipping and no sales tax was unbeatable.
In talking with a lot of friends and family lately, I have noticed an unusual trend. Amazon is not always the cheapest. In fact, I am finding that they don’t even beat the prices of shopping at a brick and mortar store in some cases.
Why is this? Are they abusing their “monopoly” power to increase earnings temporarily? As more people catch on, they will start making the switch, or at least double and triple comparison shop before automatically buying on Amazon. I know I have.
In this case I will show a glaring example of comparison shopping for synthetic automobile oil on both Amazon.com and Walmart.com
Amazon.com Oil Price:
In my upcoming personal finance post about car maintenance cost by switching to synthetic oil, I wanted to find the cheapest way to purchase the oil. So naturally I went to Amazon.com. Here is a screenshot of 5 quarts of Valvoline taken on 3/9/2015.
As you can see it is $36.53 a gallon.
Walmart.com Oil Price:
At walmart.com you can find the EXACT same oil for $22.97 with free pickup at your local store…in other words you can save $13.56 a gallon, roughly 59% cheaper. Incredible isn’t it?
Conclusion: Save Money Online
In this glaring example, Walmart wins. Amazon.com is no longer the king of online discounts. A wise consumer these days needs to comparison shop vs multiple online retailers. Do not automatically discount brick and mortar shopping either as they can sometimes meet or beat the online price.