I have been looking for a new pair of sunglasses for awhile now as I accidentally lost my old one on a hiking trip. However, because they are rather expensive and I had a temporary pair I decided to try and hold off until there is a good deal. For the most part I recognize that for stuff like this you are paying a huge markup for the brand. But it seems in many cases when you try and search for different companies the ones that keep popping up have the same kind of pricing scheme.
So for fun I literally just started to scour around for lesser known companies in the industry to see who the new players would be and if I could learn anything interesting from a business perspective. In doing so I discovered a few companies that actually used the same suppliers as the big companies to create similar products to the point where you could literally cut the cost of the branding fee in a big way.
I think trying and discover new companies or even places to shop is important to save money because if you always just stay shopping or dealing with the exact same places then that is all you have to go by in terms of what is a good value. There are often a bunch of lesser known people who can give you pretty much the exact same thing for less. It can be fun too discovering all the new places to find deals and the different amount of knowledge you can learn about an industry as a result.