In today's review of Human Alliance Roadbuster, I said that I'd bought the same toy three times now, which is true. That doesn't mean I own three copies, though. I may have bought the figure three times, but I also returned him twice. Why? Because I am a cheap bastard.
I first found the figure on October 4. Okay, that's not true: I found him in August, but didn't pick him up right away and he sold out before I changed my mind. But we're talking about purchases, not sightings, so October 4 is where we begin. I found him at Toys R Us, where he was $31.79.
A few days later, TRU sent out a 20% Off coupon, good for one item. Well, rather than buy something new, I decided I wanted the discount taken off Roadbuster. Problem was, I'd already opened him, and didn't feel like packing him up again just for a price change. So instead, while I was at TRU looking to see if there was anything I wanted to buy instead, I bought a second Roadbuster, using the coupon. The next time I went to TRU, I took back the new Roadbuster with the old receipt, and got my $30 refunded. So now I had paid $25.43.
A few weeks later, Toys R Us put the Human Alliance figures on sale. They were $5 off, which meant that the 20% discount I got before was still a better price, so I ignored it. But then Hasbro released a coupon for $5 off any DotM purchase of $5.99 or more. The coupon overlapped with the sale, dropping an originally $30 Transformer down to $20, which is the price the first Alternators sold for. I liked that, so took $5 off coupon to TRU, found Roadbuster again, and bought him. I then went straight from the checkout over to the Customer Service desk, and gave them the $25 receipt from before, and got that money back.
So from a figure I was originally willing to pay $30 to get, I ended up only having to pay $21.19 - that's an extra $10 in my pocket! Or, more accurately, in some store's pocket, because you know I'm just going to spend it on toys again. But the point is, by watching sales and coupons, and keeping track of your receipts, you can make sure you don't miss out on the best price.