This Is Why I Shop Online: Episode #11: “I Like To Save Money”

Oh, where to begin? It was my son’s 12th birthday, and I wanted to get him something special. He’s really into Lego’s, especially the big, theme kits. I decided I’d go all out and get him the King of Lego projects - the Star Wars Death Star!

This is a pricey item, and in the past his kits usually ended up being torn apart. But this one would be built to be displayed (not played with) and last forever. It took some convincing on my wife’s part, but I sold her by saying it would be a great father-and-son-bonding project. With her approval, I headed off to Toys R Us to buy it immediately so I could have it in my hands before she changed her mind.

The trip there and back was uneventful, unlike most of the other adventures I’ve written about in this blog. I went to the Lego aisle and eagerly grabbed it, noting the price of $429.00. Yeah, I know, but remember I said it was the King of all Lego projects and would last forever. After tax, the total cost was $459.03. Ouch.

I got home and my wife asked how much it cost. I told her and she said she’s seen it cheaper online. I checked the Toys R Us website and sure enough, there it was for only $399.99. Hmm. This got me to thinking: how common is it that in-store items cost more than the same thing online?

I did some research and discovered these facts about Death Star Prices:

  • Lego Online: $399.99
  • Target Online: $399.99
  • Walmart Online: $399.95
  • Amazon Online: $399.95

So, I assumed that Lego must’ve set the price on this, and the extra cost tacked on must be due to a brick-and-mortar-store’s overhead, which makes sense.

I then did some more research and discovered how much I could have got it for at those places by using an online coupon:

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that shopping online using coupons is the way to go for better prices and even perks. Idiot! Oh, when will I learn? Get it through your head, self – Shop Online Every Time!

Please read more in this series by checking out my whole “This Is Why I Shop Online” litany of horror stories.

By: Peter

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