I’ve spent many, many a year working in retail. Even after all those years I’m still not the biggest sale shopper. Even with Black Friday + Cyber Monday deals looming I made a few purchases that I could’ve saved a few bucks on earlier in the week because I honestly didn’t even think about the sales until after the fact.
Something else I’ve also noticed with sales is that there’s usually a stipulation that you have to spend XYZ in order to earn said discounts. My question is, at that point is it even worth waiting for the sale? Or would you have spent the same amount of money (maybe even less) if you hadn’t of waited for the sale?
Definitely think it’s a Catch 22, because some items (big tickets pieces) are amazing to snag while on a discount, but brands can definitely lure shoppers in with discounted items that actually rack up the bill more so than saving money.
Hi Josh. This is a big question at this time of year, for sure. You put your finger on what makes this a headache for me, personally – I’m not necessarily the best at crunching the numbers across different discount scenarios to spot the best deal/timing.
So, my approach is to bypass the math component and ask myself: “Is this sale item something that I need to buy ANYWAY?”
– If I legitimately need the item AND it’s on sale, that’s a green light
– If I need the item but it’s not on sale (yet), I MAY delay till I find a better price
– If it’s on sale and I only casually wish I had that item (“would be nice…”), that’s a no go
It’s not always easy to abide by this rule but it helps keep me out of the “but it’s on sale” trap. I think, over time, I end up saving money by buying fewer things that I don’t really need.
Personally, I think of sales as more of an entertainment. It’s the thrill of the hunt for a good bargain, not really about finding necessities at the best possible price. So I admit that to myself up front and set a fixed budget for sale shopping (retail therapy) and that helps to keep me out of serious trouble.
The sales definitely have a catch and are really there so you can spend more than you intended. I will only shop a sale if I can double up on the coupons or incentives. For example, sweaters were 1/2 off and I had “store cash.” So, I got the discount plus the $15 in store cash and got the sweater for $19 opposed to the original price of $70 bucks. Its a game but better than getting tricked by the coupon system lol
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