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From the UK: Bundling Products and Services: Is It Worth It?

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shutterstock_361383731OK, here we are…. almost mid 2016, the economy is doing well, the national living wage is now £7.20, and food prices have dropped due to the supermarket wars and competition.

Life seems good.

Are there ways we could save even more money??

Let’s take a step back, to the past so to speak, and look at other savings options…like bundling a company’s services or products.

But what is bundling, and what did we do before bundling??


The Past 

Back when I was a child, and young adult, and this was long prior to Council Tax or even other taxes we had, you paid for your gas, your electricity, TV license (not everyone paid this), and your usual bills.

There were no water rates where I lived as there was no way to measure the amount of water used; there were no meters.

I make jokes today about this and how soon there will be “air rates”. We will be charged for the air we breathe.

My point of this is that at that time there were no discounts for having your gas and electricity with the same provider, however, today we do.

By “bundling” or using the same company to provide your gas and electricity, you can receive a discount, saving you money.

As I mentioned we did not have this in the past, in fact many of us had pre-paid meters for gas and electricity.

Who can forget having to drop pound coins in the gas meter in your home to keep the gas going, or having a credit card or electricity key that you would top-up to keep the lights on.

Some people in some areas still have these.

Unfortunately today, these pre-paid meters have a higher tariff, so they cost us more than just having a monthly bill.

However, today you have options. As long as you are not in debt to a utility provider, you can have the pre-paid meters removed and receive a monthly bill. And many suppliers offer a discount if you bundle, or have your electricity and gas together with them.


shutterstock_254866642Does Bundling Save Money?

The quick answer to this questions is yes, bundling services can save you money, however, you may be bundling services that you would not usually use, or may not use at all.

From a company or providers standpoint, bundling is a good thing. They get to give their customers all or a part of their services, and know they will receive a certain payment. It also keeps customers from leaving them as it is more difficult for clients to leave if you are providing more than just one service.

Bundling is done in just about all businesses, think of a Happy Meal as a food bundle.

Microsoft has been bundling their software programmes for years. You get a word processor, spreadsheet, power point presenter, etc, all together in a suite of programmes.

Also, companies like Sky, BT, Virgin, and others, offer bundles such as phone, Internet, and YV packages all bundled together for one price.

For some this will represent a savings if you use all these services. For myself, it doesn’t work.

I don’t have or use a land line, and I rarely watch basic TV. I have a service to provide me films and streaming shows, and Internet, which provides the platform for the streaming. All the channels in the world does nothing for me.

However, having my gas and electricity with the same provider does save me money.

As a consumer, it will depend on what services you use or don’t use, and also the cost.

In some instances, even if you do not make use of all the bundled services, in the end you may save money.


shutterstock_224466037Bundling Airfares and Hotels and Car Hire

I like to book packaged holidays that include the flights and resorts all in one. I seem to find better deals that way. You can always upgrade your room, or pay slightly extra for a better times flight, but for me it still works out cheaper than booking the flight and hotel separately.

And apparently I am not alone.

Many travel web sites are now offering flights and hotels, bundled together, at a savings. Some even offer flights, hotels, and a car hire together.

If you are needing a place to stay at your destination, this can offer you good value and some savings.

A friend of mine takes an annual trip and books it flight and hotel bundled together. However, once they get to their destination, they do not always stay the entire time at the bundled hotel. They may use it as a base for internal travel, but they can go stay elsewhere in neighbouring cities, and still save money due to the bundled room and flight.


shutterstock_151550375Bundled Products

Just as service providers can bundle their services, products can be bundled as well.

Think of my previously mentioned example of a Happy Meal. Almost all fast food restaurants offer these types of bundled meals. You get a sandwich, a side order and a drink all in one, or for one price.

As consumers we feel we are getting value for our money, and business may get more sales, or move more products.

The other day I needed to buy a new throw for when the little woman decides to take a nap on the sette. The shop was offering two throws for the price of one. There was no way to just purchase one, as the two were packaged together.

There are different varieties of product bundling:

Pure bundling: Pure bundling is where you can only buy the entire bundle or nothing at all, Similar to the fleece throws I bought. I had no choice but to buy the two of them together.

Mixed bundling: Mixed bundling is where you can mix and match products together for the same price.

You see mixed bundling used a lot in supermarkets, you can choose from multiple products together for the same price.

While bundling like this, especially with food, may seem like a good value, you have to consider the waste factor. For myself, buying bundled items such as food, may not all get eaten and could go to waste. 

Bundling can be one way to save money on certain products and services, but as with most purchases, we need to do a little research first.

,OK, here we are…. almost mid 2016, the economy is doing well, the national living wage is now £7.20, and food prices have dropped due to the supermarket wars and competition. Life seems good.

This article by Jon Emge was syndicated by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.




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