There is an old rule I inadvertently use and I'm not sure where it came from. It's the idea to, 'Never pay retail.' Retail prices are full market prices without any discounts. Sometimes paying retail is unavoidable. Some things like government fees can't be negotiated. In most cases you can easily get away from the retail scam.
If you pay retail you are paying too much. The shops usually price according to what they consider they will use as a discount. Some shops have sales every week. Their retail prices are just the prices they can get away with that seem reasonable. Their normal discounts would be considered a regular price in other stores. And the huge discounts would be considered a small discount in other stores. I had a similar strategy when I had a furniture business. My retail prices were very high and I didn't sell many at retail at all. I had the high prices so that I could offer large discounts. If you were to choose an item that was a bit more expensive, but 50% off or one that was only 20% off, which one would you choose? Most people would choose the more expensive one at 50% off because they think it is better quality. In most cases it isn't. A lot of manufacturers produce the same product that is sold at discount and at the high price, it just has different labeling.
Recently it was the birthday for one of my boy's. We were going to go to a movie at a cinema (at a discount), but they had finished the run of the movie he wanted to watch. So, he decided he wanted us to buy him a DVD (at a discount). We might have got the DVD a wee bit cheaper if we had the time to shop around online. We went to Burger King and used coupons that were online. As their sundaes were a bit expensive we went to the supermarket to look for alternatives. We bought the kids ice creams that were on a half price special and a cheesecake. We then got some potato chips and corn chips (on discount of course). It was around $3 cheaper to get all of that than buying the sundaes. The kids were happy and my wallet was happy.
When we do our regular grocery shopping we never pay retail. We always buy the specials. We don't buy on brand, but what gives us the best return on investment. If something is on a good special we stock up. We know how often the specials come around, so we try to time the amount we get for the next time that it is on special. We also look out for deals where things will expire in the next day or two. There is nothing wrong with these items you just have to use them quickly. Our big supermarkets in Australia have deals where if you shop with them they give you free vouchers. We max those out to get free stuff.
I went shopping for some sports shoes a few weeks back. I don't bother looking at the expensive shops. I am not one for fashion no matter how cool you think I am. We don't stray too far from stores like Kmart for our clothing needs. I got some marked down by 50%, but they weren't the cheapest ones. They are one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. We are wealthy and we still live like this. We don't have to, but we enjoy it. If it was a hassle we would change our lifestyle.