Competitor Low Prices Might Not Always Be The Best Deal

Gone are the days of walking into a store and not knowing you are missing out on a better deal across town.  The internet is filled with many competitors grabbing your attention to click on their store’s website.  A typical tactic is to advertise an unbelievable price, but is the lower price really the best deal on the internet?  Let’s take a look.

For this discussion, we are going to assume the products are identical and come from the same manufacturer.

Let’s take a look at a Toner Cartridge that is for use in a KIP 7100.  Shop In Today sells the cartridge for $107.99 (as of 1/29/2016) and includes Free FedEx Ground Shipping for All Orders over $95.00 (within the lower 48 United States).

Competitor #1 advertises the same toner for $94.00, but charges you shipping $16.00 for FedEx/UPS Ground shipping.  You have now paid $110.00 for the same toner.

Competitor #2 advertises the same toner for $99.99, but you have to buy in quantities of 4 or more to get the lower price.  Your company uses a lot of toner, so you’ll just stock up for the year.  But as soon as you get to their shopping cart, you notice a $30 shipping fee in addition to a $8.00 processing fee.  In the end, you would be paying $437.96 for the order, which comes out to $109.49 per kit.

And lastly, one of my favorite low cost trends on the internet.  Competitor #3 advertises the same toner for $55.00 which includes free “Economy Shipping”.  This typically means that your order will be processed in 2 to 3 business days and shipped through the US Postal Service (without a tracking number), which could add another 6 to 10 business days.  If you plan ahead and keep a close eye on the amount of toner you have left, this option might work for you.

Let’s recap:

Shop In Today total cost is $107.99, which includes Free FedEx Ground Shipping.

Competitor #1 total cost is $110.00, but you had to pay for FedEx/UPS Ground shipping.

Competitor #2 total cost is $437.96, which came out to $109.49 per kit.  But you had to pay for shipping and order processing.

Competitor #3 total cost is $55.00, which included free US Postal Service.  But it could take up to 2 weeks for you to receive your order and you have no way to track the package.

It is no secret that businesses are watching their competitors and adjusting pricing.  Be on the lookout for shipping fees, processing fees, and when you should expect to receive your order before you checkout.