Bargains Abound Amid The Gloominess

Bargains Abound Amid The Gloominess


Watching the news, reading the newspaper or surfing the internet can certainly leave you feeling hopeless, anxious and depressed. Mostly everyone is focusing in on the bad news to the point where when good things do happen that news is brushed aside in favor of more gloom and doom.

moneyAs with any economic condition, that old Charles Dickens maxim “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times” holds true. And, if you are planning to make any sort of major purchase or take a trip over the next few months, you could find some of the best bargains in recent years including:

Travel Discounts — Skyrocketing airfare increases have eased and, thanks to fare specials offered by Southwest Airlines, is causing airlines to slash fares in a bid to sell seats. Also, fuel surcharges have been dropped by most air carriers as jet fuel prices drop to more reasonable levels. Hotels, resorts, rental car companies and other businesses catering to travelers have also slashed their prices.

New/Used Cars — Discounts on new cars are among the best seen in years. Plus, some automakers are offering discounts and cut rate financing in a bid to move iron. If you have good or excellent credit, then you have a very good chance to come away with a new ride. Used car prices are also down as cars languish on dealer lots.

Energy Prices — Last summer’s dire warnings of high energy prices never materialized thanks to the big drop in oil prices that kicked in late summer. Electricity prices in some areas of the country have dropped or increased at much lower than anticipated rates. Oil and natural gas prices are also down.

Mall Deals — Whether shopping at your local mall, downtown or most any other retail shop, prices are being slashed in a bid to attract shoppers.  My local mall of 140 businesses has 12 empty stores and almost that many unoccupied kiosks. Almost every store is constantly running sales with discounts of 20-75% on most items common. Even online merchants are slashing prices in a bid to get their share of an increasingly shrinking pie.

Mostly everything with a sticker price on it can be negotiated, a tactic many consumers do not practice, but should consider when shopping. Grocery prices are generally what they are but soft goods, most hard goods and certainly many services can be negotiated.

The consumer friendly market will continue to last as long as the economy is in the doldrums. Take advantage of the bargains out there now because when the recovery kicks in, many of those bargains will be quickly kicked out.

Adv. — Everyone wants to save money, but we’re often hesitant to ask for a lower price from merchants. You may be paying too much for your mortgage even with rates at historically low levels. Why not seek to refinance your loan or pay off your mortgage sooner, if possible? Please visit for timely tips on how to stay ahead of the game during trying economic times.


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Categories: Money Management

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".