You might think that one of the best ways you can make your money go a little farther each month is to keep an eye out for sales at your local stores to save money while getting the items you need. And it is true that some sales can be a great opportunity to save money under the right circumstances.
However, many sales are just a marketing ploy by the retailer and end up costing you more money in the end. Before you pull out your wallet and buy up half of the items off the sale rack, consider some of the following reasons as to why you should avoid sales.
#1 – Buying Stuff You Don’t Need
This is the most common mistake people make when dealing with sales. Just because you find something on sale for a better price than is normally offered, doesn’t mean that you need it. In fact, unless you were already looking for this item and had it planned into your budget, you should probably steer clear of it altogether.
The best way to stick to a budget is to avoid impulse purchases and sales are the ultimate way to test your discipline. Unless you already had planned the particular purchase then run the other direction.
#2 – Lower Quality Goods
Let’s say you are looking for a certain item and you happen to find it on sale – should you make the purchase immediately? Not necessarily. You still want to do research into the product to make sure it is a brand with a good reputation for quality and customer support.
Just because an item is cheap doesn’t mean it is the smart purchase. Always take some time to do your homework and confirm that the item on sale is made by a quality company and can be expected to live up to what you need it to do.
#3 – Limitations on Returns
Sometimes, sale items come with restrictions on returns and exchanges after you make a purchase. Check to see if that is the case with any items that you are thinking of buying from a sale at your local store. Often, saving the few dollars that the sale is offering isn’t worth the risk of not being able to return or exchange the item if it doesn’t work out for you. Buyer protection is important when purchasing consumer goods, so don’t give it up easily for only modest savings. This is especially the case if you’re not using a credit card that offers some sort of return protection.
There is nothing wrong with using sales to get a good price on certain goods under the right circumstances. However, it is important to understand that some sales are simply not as good of a deal as they might seem at first. Make sure that you really need the item that you are purchasing, and that you are getting a quality item at a great price. Only when you check off the three points above and still feel like it is a good deal should you consider taking advantage of the sale.
What do you do to avoid sales? What methods do you use to make sure a purchase is something you really should get? How much clutter do you have thanks to shopping sales?
Photo courtesy of: Tim Parkinson