How To Find Cheap Calipers [Secret Tip]
But I accidentally discovered a secret the other day that can help you buy a good caliper at an even cheaper price than what you might usually find them for.
The caliper below is probably the cheapest caliper on Amazon.
It is very easy to buy calipers online.
But the secret I discovered depends on one fact about online shopping. There is one thing that online shopping can almost never replicate:
Human to human interaction in a marketplace.
Without a buyer and a seller meeting face to face, an age old tradition is no longer possible:
THE ART OF BARGAINING
But how in the world will bargaining help you find a cheap digital caliper?
After all, it’s not like you can walk into a hardware store these days and expect to bargain with the guy behind the counter…
Home Depot will let you bargain down their prices.
And I bet other stores will too.
My theory is that these stores all know that you can get the same products for lower prices on Amazon.
So if you as the customer aren’t satisfied with the price of a product, then they can either lose your business or lower the price.
And they will almost always lower the price to make the sale.
How Did I Figure Out That Bargaining At Retail Stores Works?
I discovered this accidentally the other day while shopping at Home Depot.
I was there to buy gardening supplies. It was nearly Spring and it was time start sprouting seedlings and buying soil.
But while I was there, I also decided to pick up a cheap caliper if they had one.
They had this caliper for sale at something like $30 (I don’t remember the exact price):
I picked it off of the shelf and put it in my shopping cart.
$30 for a digital caliper seemed a bit too expensive to me. If my memory was correct, there were digital calipers on Amazon for way less than that.
Plus, looking at this Husky caliper resting on a bag of soil, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Could this thing really be worth $30?
So while I was standing in the check out line waiting to pay for all of my gardening supplies, I checked out the prices of calipers on amazon.
I was right!
For instance, take a look at this Neiko stainless steel caliper for half the price of the Husky caliper. It is just as good for half the price.
I ended up writing a review of the top 4 calipers on Amazon. There are a few other gems on that list, and all of them are cheap.
Confrontation At The Cash Register Over Cheap Calipers
Now that I knew for sure that I could find a better pair of cheap calipers on Amazon for a fraction of the price, I wasn’t going to pay for the Husky calipers at Home Depot.
But I was already in line and soon enough it was my turn to check out.
I unloaded all of the other gardening supplies I had purchased, including wood for a raised garden bed and wire frames for tomato plants.
“I don’t want to buy that anymore,” I said as she took it from my hands.
“Is there something wrong with them,” she asked.
“No, they are just too expensive. They aren’t worth more than $15,” I said.
“OK, I will give them to you for that price. No problem,” she said, and started typing on her computer screen.
I was stunned.
I watched as she found the item on the computer, selected the price field and typed in the new price of $15.
What was the reason for the price change, the computer demanded, and offered a list of possible reasons.
[Customer dissatisfaction] was the reason the cashier selected.
Then she swiped the caliper and put it in the bag.
Boom! Just like that, I had bargained the price to half off.
I didn’t even mean to bargain, but I had, and it worked.
My New Cheap Calipers
I was elated and couldn’t wait to get home and give this caliper a closer look.
The surprise deal had definitely given me a shot of adrenaline. And the fact that I had gotten the product half off made this caliper seem special to me.
Here are some more pictures of the box:
You can see that this digital caliper is pretty standard.
It as both exterior and gap measuring capabilities, and it can display in inches and metric units.
It also has a small depth gauge at the bottom.
The caliper even came with a carrying case that I hadn’t noticed before.
Some cheap calipers don’t come with cases, but I have found that a case extends the life of a caliper significantly.
Caliper cases often have room for a pen and notepad as well.
That can be very useful when you need to write down measurements.
Here’s the case in the package, and you can see why I didn’t notice it at first:
Not bad for a quick run to Home Depot right?
True, there are similar quality calipers on Amazon for cheaper than what I paid for this Husky caliper.
But the fact that I had bargained the price down made it feel like I had gotten a super good deal.
And it got me thinking…
Why Does Bargaining Work At Retail Stores?
The fact of the matter is that Amazon and e-commerce is kicking retail’s butt.
There isn’t a single retail store chain that hasn’t been affected by the rise of e-commerce.
Many once-popular retail stores have already gone out of business, like RadioShack.
That means that the retail stores that are still around have to really step up their game.
Every sale counts and customer service is key.
As a result, if you (the customer) aren’t satisfied with the price of a product in a retail store, you have an advantage.
You can easily get the same product on Amazon.
So the retailers have two choices: either lose the sale completely, or lower the price to what you are willing to pay.
They will almost always lower the price.
But they will also collect some data on that transaction. If the store can, it will track why the price was lowered and use that data to determine future prices.
So they still get value out of making the sale even if they lose some money on the price.
Makes sense, right?
Final Thoughts: Cheap Calipers
At this point you might be wondering why you even need calipers in the first place.
The answer is that you don’t need them, but they make life a lot easier, especially if you are working with 3D printing materials.
You won’t need to use them on a daily basis while you are printing but it does help to have a cheap caliper around to measure filaments and parts.
I use my caliper to measure the filaments I print with just to make sure the tolerances are ok.
But I’ve also used cheap calipers to measure 3D printer parts. They are especially helpful during a build when the distances between certain parts need to be just right.
I have also used calipers to measure the accuracy of my printed pieces.
Sometimes when calibrating a printer it helps to measure the dimensions of test prints just to make sure the printer is producing the expected layer heights.
Leave A Comment About Cheap Calipers!
I hope the secret I shared with you here helps you find a good caliper for a cheaper price.
But you can bargain down many other products as well.
Have you ever bargained at a retail store like me and gotten a better deal than what you were expecting?
Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear your bargaining stories.