Consumers Bargain for Purchases, Not Loans

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

When shopping for a new household appliance, a flight, a hotel room, or even a pair of shoes, most people look for the best deal. But when it comes to more expensive things—like houses and cars—not everyone shops around.

That’s according to LendingTree, a mortgage broker service that asked 1,024 American adults about their bargain shopping habits in a recent survey. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said they consider themselves to be bargain hunters, and 92% said they regularly research prices when searching for an item on their shopping list. However, when looking for a mortgage, an auto loan, or another type of major loan, 18% said they never look around for the best rate. Only 30% of all respondents said they always search out the best deal on major loans.

“Consumers are generally very savvy with their shopping behavior when it comes to day-to-day purchases and material goods,” said LendingTree’s Andrea Woroch. “But, once it comes to a major financial investment, we see a collapse of the normally rational pattern of behavior and mentality for saving.”

The Internet rules comparison-shopping

When it comes to comparing prices, the Internet offers a wealth of possibilities. Sites like Amazon, Priceline, and Expedia make it easy for shoppers to find the best deal. But although 83% of those surveyed said they comparison shop online, only 14% comparison shop for loans

Electronics are the most-price-compared products, with more than 67% of buyers looking for the best price. Airfare is also over 67%, and hotels are right behind flights with 63% of folks searching for deals. Forty-five percent of people look for great deals on appliances, and 36% comparison shop for clothes.

There doesn’t have to be a lot of money at stake for people to shop around, either. More than 80% of respondents said they were willing to drive out of their way to save ten cents a gallon on gasoline.

Balance transfer credit cards offer savings on debts

Even if people don’t want to bargain hunt for loans, there’s an easy way for them to save on paying down a balance. Transferring an outstanding credit card balance to a 0% APR card can save people hundreds, even thousands of dollars, depending on how much they owe and what their interest rate is.

Balance transfer credit cards offer a promotional period where no interest is charged on the balance transferred from another credit card. This can be up to a year, or even longer. After the promotion is over, a regular ongoing APR applies.

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