Tag Archives: price

You now have 24 hours to hold or cancel a flight

The airlines are all adjusting differently to the new requirement that taxes and fees be included in the advertised price of a flight. Regardless of the differences, the disclosures are easy to find and it’s much easier to comparison shop.

The price you see includes all the fees. Here’s a look at the ways companies are reacting told through pictures.

Expedia advertises that now it’s easier to find low fares. They’re spinning this as a positive thing, which it is for consumers, even though some airlines are less than pleased about these changes.

Continental Airlines lists a statement at the top that says “Fares listed are for the entire trip per person and include taxes and fees.”

It’s not just ticket prices that are changing, you’ll also see more disclosures about baggage fees and have the opportunity to hold a reservation or cancel it within 24 hours.

24 hold policy
You’ll now get 24 hours to make a decision about a fare. You no longer have to rush into booking something because you are afraid the price may change. You can hold a reservation without a payment or even cancel a fare without penalty for 24 hours after you make the reservation. If I were you, I wouldn’t book. I’d hold the fare and buy later because cancelling the fare may involve calling customer service which may take up a lot of time.  This rule only applies if you book or hold the trip one week or more prior to your flight’s departure.

Baggage fees
Ever wonder how much it’s going to cost to check a bag? Those fees will be disclosed with the fare quote. This disclosure is easy to miss as its worded differently on every site and doesn’t always make reference to baggage fees.

Also, if there is a delay of 30 minutes or more airlines will have to promptly notify passengers. What this actually means remains to be seen. What’s promptly?

The changes are a good step toward disclosure and give consumers more rights when they hit the friendly skies. Just make sure you know your rights and demand they are enforced (like with a delay situation) when you’re flying.

Price matching: Shopping sales from multiple stores at one store

Have you picked out all the sale items from the Sunday ads? If you want something from a few different stores, there’s no need to run around from store to store to take advantage of the sale prices. You can shop at one store and take advantage of all the sales. It’s called price matching or ad matching and several stores offer it.

Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, and Office Depot are some of the stores that allow you to bring in a competitor’s ad and get that price at their store. At Walmart, you don’t even need the ad. It sounds easy, but how easy is it?

For NewsChannel 5, I had my photographer price match. He’s never used coupons before, so he is truly a novice. I told him the basic rules, and let him go to work. I wanted to use someone who wasn’t skilled in saving money to show you that anyone can price match.

While some people report problems, it all comes down to knowing the policy where you are shopping. Don’t let a cashier frustrate you, and don’t be surprised if you have to educate them on the policy.

To successfully price match, you need to be organized. The hardest part is matching the items. With food and health and beauty products I would not expect as much variation as we saw with back to school items. Some stores had two package Sharpie’s on sale, but at the store we were using to ad match we might have only found packages with three markers. So, it’s hard with some items to ad match because you need to buy the same product.

I created an Excel spreadsheet to stay organized. This might be helpful if you are buying many products. It helps you keep the sales, prices, and model numbers organized.

Have you tried ad matching? Share your experience.

Clean out your jewelry box to cash in on record gold prices

I’ve been watching the gold market for the last few months, as I contemplated the right moment to sell my old gold jewelry. From my class ring to all the gold jewelry I no longer wear, I finally turned it over to my jeweler this weekend as gold inched close to $1600 Friday. This week, it officially reached the milestone and is expected to hit record highs all week.

It’s one of the signs the market is unstable over the debt talks. Let’s hope interest rates are not next. Gold prices rise when there’s bad economic news. While there is a lot of uncertainty out there, there is some bright news to this latest glimpse of bad economic news.  Clean out your jewelry box and cash in!

It’s hard to gauge how much your gold is worth on your own, but always check the going price before you leave. Kitco is a great resource to get this information.

At the end of June, gold was more than $100 cheaper than it is today.  It can go up and down rather quickly, but the next week or two may be prime selling season as this uncertainty over the debt ceiling is expected to continue.

Getting the best value for your gold
Once you know the buying price, shop your gold around at a variety of stores to get a good gauge of the value of your gold. Go to pawn shops, jewelry stores, and gold buyers.

In Ohio, make sure the store is licensed. Jewelry stores only have to be licensed if their total purchases of precious metals is more than 25% of their sales.

Ask a store if they have any promotions. Many will offer to match your highest price so if you shop around and find one store you like better than other get them bidding against one another.

Also, ask about gems. You should get paid extra for them, but an undercover investigation for NewsChannel 5 found this is not always the case. So, ask questions.

Finally, ask your jeweler or gold buyer if they can consign any of the pieces to get a higher price for your jewelry. This could net you a higher cash reward in the end.

Try, try again & you may save on that airfare

Don’t let high gas prices ruin your summer travel plans. While airline prices are on the rise, there are deals if you keep looking.  There are sales right now if you’re flying to certain cities, and there are ways to be alerted when a price drops for a trip you’re planning.

Persistence pays off whether you check regularly or let an alert system check. We tried booking a flight to Orlando last night, and tonight we checked again and found it for $100 cheaper. We were thrilled to find a flight for just over $250 in this day and age when most flights are $300 plus.

We got lucky on this one, because it’s not every route saw a drop in price. We checked KC to Cleveland for friends that want to visit, and the price is still $350-400. That’s just a ridiculous price to pay.  They won’t pay it, and hopefully the price will eventually drop.

Keep looking. Those prices will drop even if for just a few hours some random day. To help you find the best deal set up a deal alert. Most airlines offer this option so you’ll be notified when the price drops.

Yapta is a service that allows you to track price drops. It’s powered by Kayak (the price comparison website), so the results look the same. There is an extra option on the results that allows you to track a specific flight route.  You have to create an account to track flights, and select each flight you want to track.

Airfarewatchdog allows you to track fares between cities, from cities, or to cities.  The deals are verified by real people and not a computer, and sometimes they offer prices or promo codes you can’t find anywhere else.

FareCompare also allows you to watch a flight.  When you search for a fare, the calendar that brings up the days to choose from also shows you the prices for every day in the calendar month. It’s a nice feature to see this right away so you can figure out a ballpark cost. It’s on other sites as well, but not as prominently displayed.  If you don’t want to check the calendar constantly, you can also set up an alert.

If you have no choice but to book a flight at a price you don’t like, many airlines offer lowest price guarantees. Make sure you read the fine print of the offer so you know how to claim your money if the price drops.

Consumer Roundup: An item that will cost you more, and how to save more

Have you noticed your mailbox filling up with credit card offers again? If you need one, and can’t figure out which one is best you may want to look beyond your mailbox. Sometimes, the best ones are the ones that don’t land in your mail. CBS MoneyWatch put together its top picks, including one that offers 0% APR on balance transfer fees. Unlike most, this one does not have a transfer fee. That’s huge, as those fees add up.

Clothing is one item you’re going to want to add to your credit card now, rather than waiting for spring. Forbes reports clothing will increase 10% this spring.  Click here to read about some of the price increases that have already hit the market, and why we’re seeing all these changes.