Cheapism.com: Where Cheap is Chic

by Nora Dunn on 3 November 2009 3 comments
Photo: Cheapism.com

Cheap: Once considered a derogatory term, this word refers to the act of trying to save money wherever possible.

Cheapist: Somebody who supports acts of being cheap.

Cheapism: A way of life.

 

The Premise

Cheapism.com is a free service that helps consumers find the best of the cheapest items, weeding out cheap junk in favor of quality inexpensive items. Just because it is cheap, doesn’t mean it has to be crap.

Max Levitte, founder of Cheapism.com, has experience managing reputable review-based websites for consumers. For Levitte, “Cheap doesn’t have to mean low quality. We’ll give consumers the confidence and information they need to shop wisely during this economic downturn and in the future.”

According to Levitte, Cheapism.com differentiates itself from other services with their "singular focus on low-cost goods and services and the interests of frugal consumers."

And here at Wise Bread, being frugal consumers is a pretty big thing.

Product Research

When you normally research a product, you rarely find any information about cheaper models (possibly because the manufacturers of the cheaper models don’t have huge supplies to give away for publicity). Instead, you learn about all the fancy features of the top-of-the-line netbook or kitchen appliance (for example), without even knowing that cheaper alternatives lie in wait.

So Cheapism.com has in-house reviewers who actually get their hands on the products they review. The reviews are candid and informative, and generally appear to be without bias.

Cheapism.com in Action

Click on a product category, and you’ll get an array of information to help you choose the best model for your needs. The extensive review focuses on product features (with recommendations for what features to look for and what to ignore), analyzes other online reviews, and leaves the reader with some recommendations based on the reviewer’s personal experience. The best models within each category are highlighted, having been sorted for the lowest prices from various online suppliers.

As an example, I took a peek at cheap rolling backpacks, since as a traveler my backpack is akin to my house at times, and I’ve already learned a few lessons about what makes a good travel pack.

The review was incredibly comprehensive, covering off topics like what to look for (in the fabric, wheels, straps, size, and weight), and what to expect (performance, maneuverability, durability, warranty). The reviewer compared a number of inexpensive packs to one another, and it is evident that the reviewer actually handled each of the backpacks prior to reviewing them.

To contrast this with something I know almost nothing about, I took a peek at what Cheapism.com had to say about GPS devices. In so doing, I learned a whole lot about what to look for in a GPS device, and how to get the best value from one — both in terms of price as well as features. Had I been serious about buying a GPS device, I would have been prepared to invest in one with only a minimal amount of cross-checking and further research.

Extra Value

Combine Cheapism.com with other efforts at receiving free shipping or online discounts, and you can save even more money.

Coming Soon

And for the upcoming holiday season, Cheapism.com will offer guides for inexpensive quality gifts.

 

Note: The author has no vested interest or affiliation with Cheapism.com

 

Additional photo credits: Cheapism.com, Cheapism.com
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Guest's picture

It seems that cheap and frugal is back in style. I was under the impression that cheap things were low quality and that being frugal was looking for the best value. I guess it depends on your view of the word. Bottom line: Why not get the same item at a lower price if you can. It is ok for retailers to have a lower profit margin.

TIP: Check twitter for ways to save before making your final purchase. Start by following http://twitter.com/saveabunch

Guest's picture
Guest

... the cheapest item of all is the one you DON'T buy. Don't get misled into buying a pile of stuff just because it's cheap. Most of us Americans would do quite well to edit our possessions very carefully.

Nora Dunn's picture

@SaveaBunch - You're right; cheap vs frugal is really a matter of semantics and viewpoint. Pick your poison! 

@Guest - You're absolutely right. As one of the passages in our book states: 

Just because the caviar is half price, doesn't mean it's in the budget!