Top five instances when you need to skip discounts and sales

“A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.” These words are from writer Franklin Jones. And I hate to admit it- but he’s absolutely right. For someone who has shopped everywhere- from luxurious to thrift shops, from physical malls to online stores, I’m counting down the top five instances when you need to skip discounts and sales.

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1. When you don’t need it

The price might be right. But, if the heavily marked-down item is one you don’t need, you’re not getting a bargain at all. You’re just blowing money you could be using to put into savings or purchase stuff you actually need. So think carefully before spending on sale items. If an item is marked down 75%, ask yourself if you’d ever thought of buying the item at all before it went on sale.

2. When the product is faulty or a cheap knock-off

Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be cheap. If an item is selling at a very low price, think twice before you buy it. Some of the things you need to consider are: where is the product made? Is the item a knock-off or an imitation? Check for quality. Does the item have dents or signs of wear? For clothes, does it have loose threads, are they missing a button or is the zipper broken. Think- will the amount you’ll spend having the item fixed be worth your time? Will it still cost less that just buying a new one?

3. When it’s going to expire or go bad before you can use it

In today’s many grocery aisles, you may have encountered a “MARKDOWN” lane where you can buy products at 50% off (or more). Just be sure to check the expiry labels. If you still have a good 3 to 6 months to use it, and you think you will really use it, then go ahead and purchase. But if you see that you only have 2 weeks to consume it, like a very big bag of candy or a bundle of 3 cans of mushroom, think before you buy! Remember, there’s  no money saved when half of an item gets spoiled and gets dumped in the waste basket.

4. When the “sale price” only offers you a 10 percent discount

Think P5 less for a P50 item. Or P10 for a P100 item. When you think about it, these discounts actually don’t really mean much. Merchants who want to treat customers should do more than 10 percent off. Otherwise, they shouldn’t brag about  a 10% discount at all. And then there are those who feature an item’s price as a “sale price” when, in reality, the store has never sold it for more than the tagged amount. Remember:  If an item is really marked down, you’ll see a new lower price tag slapped on top of the regular price.

5. When you have to buy another item to get a discount

The scene is all too familiar: you see discounts splashed in stores wherein you see: Buy 1 for 199 , Buy 2 for 299 and so forth. All this strategy did for you is make you spend an extra P100 just so you can avail of the sale price.   Another example is when you shop online. You see sales that read “Get 40% discount for a minimum spend of P2999”. And then you see that the item you have chosen is sold at 2899.  So to get the 40% off, you try to scour for other items from the same store, hoping you can reach the P2999 minimum. And before you know it, you have bought another item you really didn’t want or need.

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