As you’re no doubt aware, online shopping offers great selection and an easy way to compare prices on contemporary houses. With gas prices being as high as they are, who needs to be driving around trying the find the best deal? Not me.
This article provides some tips for finding the best price online for a dog house. But before embarking on this bargain hunting mission, make sure you’ve narrowed down your dog house choice to one or two products. Do you want a traditional Snoopy style wooden dog house or a plastic one? Do you want cedar, pine, or some other kind of wood? Centered or off-set doorway? Insulated or not? These are the kind of questions you have to answer.
Ok, onto the good stuff. How much can you potentially save on a dog house by doing your homework? Well, you might be surprised. For a dog house in the $150 range, it’s not uncommon for prices to vary by as much as $30 to $40 from the low to high end.
Don’t believe it? Well, go to Froogle and search for “Tuff-n-rugged” (a popular plastic dog house) and check out the resulting prices. Just make sure you take shipping charges into consideration because some of the listed prices include shipping and some don’t. Once you’ve “normalized” the prices, I think you’ll find that some vendors offer much better deals than others.
One quick note: bargain hunting is most effective when you’re looking for a popular model of dog house that is mass produced and available via multiple vendors. For the more expensive, custom-built houses, comparison shopping is more difficult because fewer vendors carry the product. For some houses, the only company selling it is the same one that built it.
A number of online price comparison engines are available to help you track down the best deal on products. Froogle (from Google) was mentioned above. It is one of the more comprehensive because it doesn’t charge merchants for inclusion in their listings. Some of the other popular price comparison sites are Yahoo!Shopping, PriceGrabber, Dealtime/Shopping.com, and Shopzilla.
PriceGrabber has a nice feature in which you can enter your zip code and get a bottom line price that includes shipping and taxes. However, the completeness of their listings for some dog house models leaves something to be desired.
One drawback that I’ve come across with the comparison engines is that they don’t always adequately take dog house sizes into consideration. For example, if you do a search for “Extreme Outback dog house” in Froogle, one of the links provides a price comparison from four different vendors. The only problem is that one you bring up the page, the houses range in size from small to large. So you may end up with an apples to oranges comparison if you’re not careful.
Something else to keep in mind with the price comparison services is that some (most?) allow stores to bid for enhanced placement in the results and pay on a per-click basis. This means the results are not necessarily ordered by price. Not that big of an issue but something to be aware of…
There is an almost overwhelming number of sites offering discount coupons for every product imaginable, including dog houses and related accessories. The trick is knowing which sites are worthwhile and which are a waste of your time.
Some of the more worthwhile ones are: All Online Coupons, Coupon Craze, OnlyCoupons, and Wow-Coupons. You could also do a Google search for “discount coupons dog houses” and see what comes up at the top of the results. Usually, the first 3-4 search results are relevant and worthwhile.
I did a quick check when writing this page and found that Coupon Craze was offering several discount coupons for DogHouses.com. One of these was for 20% off on several popular models. That’s not too shabby.
One of my pet peeves (pun intended) is that the vast majority of the discount coupon sites lack a search tool. It would be nice if you could just enter “dog house” in a search box and get results targeted to that query. Alas, that’s not the case. Instead, many sites just provide a link to a Pets section and from there you have to browse for coupons. This works but the process is not as efficient as it could be.