Price is only one of many costs you pay when making a purchase. Focusing on price alone can end up costing a lot of money. Value shoppers know that. The average consumer doesn't. Here are six other related expenses you may never have thought about:
6. Future direct costs
Many items come with direct costs made after the purchase. A car is a perfect example. To use it, you need gas, of course. If you buy a car with good gas mileage, you will pay less for this direct cost. Future direct costs can also be found on smaller items. Razors need replacement blades. Electric toothbrushes require new heads. Computer printers don't work without ink. Once you decide which brand and model you want for these products, in many cases you are stuck with that company's replacement parts at whatever price they may be.
5. Future indirect costs
In the car example above, if you buy a red, sporty model, an indirect cost may be getting more traffic tickets because it stands out. This, in turn, may raise insurance rates. Note that indirect future costs are more difficult to anticipate, but, with a little thought, some of the possibilities can be considered.
4. Replacement costs
Most products have an estimated life, and it's important to know that. If you buy gardening tools that will last one season, how do they compare with others that are more expensive but will last for 10 seasons? It's the same with clothes.
3. Cost of obtaining
When people shop online, they realize there will be a shipping fee. But brick-and-mortar stores carry additional costs, too. Now that gas is no longer cheap, it costs a lot to travel to different stores to compare prices. Even driving farther to save a few cents on gas defeats its own purpose.