By, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
Do you sometimes feel the sale is too good to be true? Do you find yourself impulsively buying just because it is on sale? When is a good deal not a good deal? Sale signs cloud our reasoning, which results in some of the worst shopping decisions we make as consumers.
Here are a few ways to decipher if it is a real deal and too good to pass by.
Do you need it, or are you buying it because it is "on-sale"? If it is something already on your list to purchase and you can save money, then it can be considered a good deal. For example, if you buy diapers every month and have a $10 off coupon, you already know you will be purchasing them in the future. So yes, this is a good deal. However, if it is $10 off on a dinner entrée, but you typically cook at home; spending $30 to get the $10 saving makes little sense.
Try using comparison search engines, especially when you are purchasing at Back to School or Black Friday sales. It is easy to do a quick Google search first to ensure you are getting the best price. During this time of year, everyone is competing for your business, so use it to your advantage.
Beware of the "50% off" scam. Before getting excited that the item you are looking for is listed as 50% off go out to the original manufactures website to verify the original price. Sometimes retailers will double their original amount and then mark it down 50%. In reality, this is not saving you any money.
Watch out for Door Buster Deals. These deals are typical around Back to School and Black Friday. Beware that you are buying what you need and not merely because it looks like a good deal. Stores like to offer a deep discount on a limited quantity of items to get you in the store. Once you are there, the hope is you will spend more money on things you may not need. These deals are also usually early in the morning when you might be tired and likely to spend more money than if you had a good night's rest.
Finally, before rushing to the store to snag the next deal, make sure it's something you genuinely need. Would you buy it if it was not on sale?