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Gephardt Busts Inflation: How Browser Extensions Can Help Beat Rising Online Prices

Plug-ins for your Internet browser can help ensure that you’re paying the lowest price for almost everything. (Antonov Roman, Shutterstock)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – Escaping rising prices on almost everything is getting harder and harder for Utahans. Consider Tuesday’s report from the US Department of Labor showing inflation hit a 40-year high.

But with the help of plug-ins for your Internet browser, your computer can help ensure that you’re paying the lowest price for almost everything, saving you money without having to drastically change your style. of life.

Find the best price

Shopping online is easy: tap, click and wait for the package to show up at your front door. Alas, with countless websites selling and reselling just about anything you might need, one aspect of shopping online has become quite difficult: getting the best price. Or in some cases, simply avoiding getting scammed.

Take, for example, Philip and Carla Carrol which I wrote about last year.

They bought fish fertilizer from Amazon.com, assuming the price was at least ballpark. It wasn’t until the product arrived with a receipt in the box that the Carrols learned they were really dealing with a third-party seller and had paid about double the going rate.

“It’s not always the lowest price just because it’s Amazon,” Philip told us.

Knowing you’ve gotten a bargain is more important than ever with skyrocketing prices, says shopping expert Trae Bodge.

“I see a lot of price increases,” Bodge said of today’s trading climate.

Philip and Carla Carrol have learned that e-commerce giant Amazon doesn't always offer the lowest price.
Philip and Carla Carrol have learned that e-commerce giant Amazon doesn’t always offer the lowest price. (Photo: KSL-TV)

Price search with browser extensions

When asked what tricks she had up her sleeve to help KSL viewers shop online, Bodge said the easiest way was to use a browser extension.

“It’s free. It takes seconds,” she said.

What is an extension, you ask? You’ve probably seen them while surfing the web. It’s that little puzzle piece icon in the top right corner of the browser. Basically, it is an add-on or plug-in that you can attach to your web browser.

“These are tools that basically make your browser smarter,” Bodge explained.

Some extensions are programmed to scour the internet to ensure you get the best price.

“And then it does so much work for you in the background to help you save money, even when you don’t expect it,” Bodge said.

Test shopping extensions

Could it be that simple? KSL producer Sloan Schrage and I sat down to see.

KSL's Matt Gephardt and KSL Producer Sloan Schrage test how free browser extensions can save shoppers money.
KSL’s Matt Gephardt and KSL Producer Sloan Schrage test how free browser extensions can save shoppers money. (Photo: KSL-TV)

First, we needed to download a shopping extension. We started with Capitol One Shopping, a popular extension from the folks at Capitol One. And since the start of the baseball season, I’ve been picking up new gear for my favorite team on a website I’ve shopped at before: Fanatics. I found a hat, put it in the basket, and within seconds I was trying to persuade Sloan, a Rockies fan, to root for the Mets instead, the extension found a coupon somewhere on the internet for an automatic savings of $8.40.

We had similar savings experiences on another website, although the discounts weren’t always found.

We tried a few other popular extensions and quickly learned that not all of them work the same way. Some have done price comparisons with other retailers on the internet to find the cheapest price. Others searched the web for discount codes that we could apply at checkout. And others earned us points that we could then collect and submit for cash back.

We also found that buyers aren’t limited to using one extension at a time. We found a digital camera that sold for $1,598 on Amazon. The Ibotta shopping extension told us to “wait”, we can get it for $28.05 cheaper in another online store. At the same time, the Capitol One Shopping extension found us a price of $1,474.16 for the same camera, a savings of $123.84.

The popular Ibotta browser extension saved $28 on a camera, while the Capitol One Shopping extension saved nearly $124 for the same item.
The popular Ibotta browser extension saved $28 on a camera, while the Capitol One Shopping extension saved nearly $124 for the same item. (Photo: KSL-TV)

“I was stocking up on something that I always get,” Bodge said. “I had my browser extension installed. I got a little alert that there was a 20% off offer. I saved 20% and didn’t even expect to. “

Bodge said there’s nothing wrong with using a bona fide purchase extension, and in doing so, lowering what you pay and lowering inflation.

“For me, anything automated that helps you save money, I’m all for it,” she said.

You should know

Here are two things you need to know: First, I had to register for each extension I used with an email address. You better believe I’ve seen a spike in the number of ads popping up in my inbox.

Second, it is essential that you install browser extensions from popular and trusted sources such as the Chrome Webstore, Microsoft Store for Edge browser users or Mozilla for Firefox users. Internet security experts warn that using the wrong extensions could cause malware or viruses to download to your computer. And it will more than spoil your shopping experience.

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Matt Gephardt

Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for over 20 years and as a journalist since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at [email protected]

Sloan Schrage

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