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Brits Spend Over a Year of Their Lives Hunting for Bargains

Brits Spend Over a Year of Their Lives Hunting for Bargains

Category: Savings

Updated: 31/10/2008
First Published: 27/08/2008

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Britain is a nation of bargain hunters who spend over a year of their lives seeking out the best possible deal - that's according to new research released today by T-Mobile.

With a typical person spending an entire week (23% of respondents) researching for a major purchase, T-Mobile has calculated that based on an average of 58 shopping years in a lifetime, Brits spend 406 days bagging a bargain.

And people in Britain don't just invest time in landing a deal, they'll go to great lengths too. Over a fifth (21%) have arranged for goods to be shipped in from abroad to save money and one in ten (11%) have hopped on a ferry to France or on a flight to New York to take advantage of cheaper prices. Half enjoy putting in the time and effort to search, but only when they have space in their busy lives, which due to work and family commitments is now harder than ever.

The research, which was commissioned by T-Mobile following the launch of a minutes guarantee that puts an end to the search for a better mobile deal, also revealed some distinct types of British bargain hunters:

Serial Searchers

These deal seekers will do whatever it takes and leave no stone unturned when it comes to achieving the best prices for an item. They confess to looking in numerous shops and websites to compare prices, with a fifth saying they visited four to six stores before taking the plunge and buying. Thirty three per cent of people who bought online admitted they would go to at least four sites prior to purchasing.

eBay Addicts

Inspired by shows such as Bargain Hunt, this internet-savvy bunch enjoy the thrill of an online auction, with 60% of Britons aged 16-64 saying they have bid online in the last year to save money. These bidding wars are attracting people of all ages, with half of 55-64 year olds using eBay within the last year, only fractionally less than the 58% of 16-24 year olds who also use the site.

Regular Returner

These bargain hunters are so adamant that they must get the best deal for each purchase, they admitted to returning an item after buying because they found it cheaper elsewhere (27%). There is a significant generational divide in the group, with 36% of 16-24 year olds being very happy to return items for that reason, compared to only 19% of those between 55 and 64 years of age.

Happy Hagglers

This group relish the opportunity to haggle for the best deal, with 16% saying they are happy to negotiate hard when it comes to price. Eighteen per cent of men have tried to negotiate a price on an important purchase in the last year, compared to only 13% of women.

Financial expert, Cesarina Holm-Kander, says Britons are spending much more time and effort than they used to as they look to reduce costs. "In the past, looking for the best deal was seen as something solely for characters such as Del Boy and Arthur Daley. Now, with many needing to tighten their belts, we're searching much harder, and for longer than ever before. However, as we become ever increasingly time-poor, we all need to be smarter, rather than work harder to seek out a good value deal."

Jon Cowan, Head of Propositions at T-Mobile, said: "We know how much time and energy people put in to trying to get great value, especially in these uncertain economic times. We also know that the sheer amount of price plans out there can be really confusing for people. That's why we've just launched a new minutes guarantee, which ensures that customers won't find more minutes for £30. It underlines our commitment to providing unbeatable value for money and makes things much easier for our customers."

To help ease the search, T-Mobile will now offers the best minutes allowance in the market, and puts an end to the tiresome search for the best mobile deals: consumers won't find more minutes for £30 - guaranteed. This revolutionary step by T-Mobile is in direct response to customer feedback, which highlighted the many frustrations faced by mobile users when choosing a new contract.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.