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Does Amazon Really Have Better Prices?

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With the advent of online shopping, it’s feasible to not have to go to the store for anything except some late night children’s Tylenol when you realize you’re all out and the little one has a fever at midnight. Beyond that, there’s an online option for just about anything. Amazon.com is the winner when it comes to selection and availability. But pricing? This remains to be seen. Let’s do a test: You need the Oil of Olay Microdermabrasion and Peel System. You’re going to check out Amazon first since you don’t usually spend more than $10 on any facial care and want to get the best possible deal for a small splurge.

Amazon offers three options: $25.99 (sold by Amazon), $26.12 (sold by third party), and $28.45 (sold by third party). Now, here’s the important part: Amazon offers two-day free shipping with Amazon Prime, for which you will pay a flat yearly rate. The other retailers are charging an additional $4.99 for shipping on this product. (If you’re anything like me and turn to Amazon for even the smallest of household items, like batteries and stickers for the kids, the flat fee is worth it by the end of the year.)

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So how does Amazon actually compare to other retailers? Walmart came in at the lowest at $21.28 and Target a close second at $21.44. The highest? Walgreens at $29.99. The lesson here is to never, ever, buy anything at a drug store unless you’re desperate. They have the highest prices, hands down. Grocery stores are number two. You can even pay another $4.49 for shipping at Walmart and still come in at about the same lowest price at Amazon. Or if you’re willing to go to the store, but have to run there on your lunch hour, go with the in-store pick up option.

The winner? Depends on what you’re looking for. If you are willing to shell out the flat fee, turn to Amazon first and enjoy two day shipping (beware though—if you order on Thursday, it turns into four day shipping). If not, head to Walmart and try to navigate the long lines and grumpy salespeople.

 

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