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What is Comparison Shopping and How Can It Help You Save?

We make choices on what to buy every day. Name brand or generic? Bells and whistles or basic? Comparison shopping is important to find out what you actually need, or you could be paying big when something cheaper could have served you just as well. Not only will you be saving money, but you'll be happier with the things you're buying and have the opportunity to save your money and invest in your future self.

Woman and child online shopping.

The Top 3 Benefits of Comparison Shopping

  1. Looking at reviews when comparing items gives you an idea of how the item holds up and any potential issues you might come across, so you're better prepared to properly use and care for the item
  2. You might find something you didn't know existed that's exactly what you're looking for, or a better fit than what you've used in the past
  3. Saving money—you might find great sales on an item from a different seller, or in the case of services or loans, a much better interest rate or lower quote.

How Comparison Shopping Can Save You Money

Brand name vs generic—the grand old debate. You might be surprised how often generic and brand name are virtually the same, and the difference in price is really just reputation. Take pots and pans for example. A large brand name in dutch ovens gives theirs a much higher price compared to what you can find somewhere else, and although their product is great, theirs is not necessarily worth $200 more than others on the market. If you buy one, you're essentially paying extra for a logo, and that's true of not only products but some services as well. Of course, you might find that brand name really is better (mac and cheese anyone?) but it's still better to see if you like more cost-effective options just as well and save a bit of money.


As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. While that's true in many cases, it isn't always and it's worth it to compare not only the price but the benefits. When it comes to finding a new phone provider for example you might find it worth it to pay more to get service almost anywhere. If you're not much of a traveler, you can save money by going with a less expensive provider since you really only need to get service near your home. Consider what it is you find valuable and don't pay for more if you don't care about it.

Groceries, Gadgets, And More

When things cost more, we can sometimes assume that it's because the company uses better ingredients or has something included that's difficult to get or to make. Often this leads to the next logical conclusion, which is that the item does whatever it's meant to do better or it will last longer. When something costs less we make the opposite assumption. Sellers rely on these assumptions to charge you more, so it's worth it to do your research. Most of the time, the less expensive item does the job just as well as the higher priced option so it doesn't justify the price difference.

The Bottom Line—Expensive Doesn't Always Mean Better

Do your research and keep in mind what matters to you. Be realistic about what you'll really use and go for basic or generic if that's all you need.

Want help managing your money?

We're here to help! No question is too small, and with WaFd Bank you also have access to tools and services to help you manage your finances and get the most from your money. Visit us at your neighborhood branch, give us a call at 800-324-9375, or check out what WaFd online banking has to offer.