Heard these terms the other day and had no idea they were “a thing!”
Showrooming: when you visit a store to check out a product, but then go home and purchase it online.
Webrooming: when you research products online first, and then go to the store to check it out/purchase.
Real quick without thinking too much – which do you fall into most?
For BIG items (cars/houses/etc) I’m 100% a Webroomer as I like to research up front and then come touch and play/buy, but on smaller things like books or kitchen stuff I’m much more of a Showroomer. Not that I have that much time to go shopping anyways these days as a stay-at-home father ;) (I did visit Target like 5x during my sabbatical though, and WOW is it much more calmer than on weekends! Motivation enough to retire early right there! Haha…)
I also find Showrooming is great if you *collect things* too – like rare coins or antiques, etc. Most times you never even knew the item existed before seeing it in a shop, and even if you did you still need time to research and see what a fair deal is before scooping it up. Places like Ebay and the like make this super easy these days, and then you can also see how common or not the item actually is. Oftentimes you don’t even have a choice if the shop is the only place selling the item!
Here are some other tricks I do when shopping on Ebay/Craigslist/etc:
I search misspelled words. So many people are quick to post stuff up and forget to double check the listing before publishing, and while it doesn’t happen all too often, when you do come across something you want w/ misspellings in it, you can typically pick it up on the cheap. Because no one else knows it’s there to compete with you! ;)
I look for items that are miscategorized. Similar to misspellings, if you can find an item in the *wrong category* it can help you score a much better deal on it as well. This one takes a bit more time and yields far fewer results, but when you do get lucky you really get lucky! I once picked up a rare $150 coin book for literally only 19 cents! Because it was tagged improperly!
I pay attention to really crappy pictures/write-ups. This is actually counterintuitive because you’re so used to ignoring ugly listings, but because everyone else is doing that too it means less eyes are actually focused on potential good stuff! It’s not always that the item sucks or someone is trying to cover it up – it can also be that the lister just isn’t as good with technology/cameras as we are. So I’ll always scan them along with other listings, just in case there’s a diamond in the rough.
(This is especially so when looking for a new home – the places with glamorous photos showing perfectly cleaned homes will always attract the most attention, while the ones with blurry/dark pics and cluttered homes will not. Giving you even more bargaining ammunition if you end up falling in love with the property in person and decide to make an offer!)
Lastly, I have a “under $20” rule, which mainly applies to anything I buy really… If I find something I REALLY want and it costs less than $20, I allow myself to pick it up without harassing myself too much. It maybe only happens once or twice a month (again – not much time to shop with kids!), but I find it’s a nice clear cut way to “live a little” within reason, as well as to keep my sanity better in check.
Anyways, just a few tips in case they help :)
Back to the original question – I’d say I’m a healthy mix of both Webroomer and Showroomer, but I’m even MORE SO an Internetroomer, haha… A person who mainly buys *and* researches everything online ;) (Hey – if they can make up words, so can I!)
And here’s one for those of you who prefer only to buy/search in stores too: Brickandmortars. Formerly known as “every shopper in the world” pre-internet ;)
So which fits YOU the best? Any shopping hacks you’d like to share with us?
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!