This is an important question to people that are trying to be frugal. Sometimes it is hard to figure out if an item is REALLY and truly on sale or if the store or website just want you to THINK it is on sale. I wanted to share some tips and tricks to help you figure out if an item is really on sale or not.
- Be observant—Look at prices for items you are not buying each week. I have actually kept a price book for the items I buy, so I could figure out what the best price was for those items. They are very simple to keep….all it involves is writing down the price of the items (chosen by you) every week. You can then see the average price for your items, which will help you to be able to buy when it is at a low price.
- Look elsewhere-—So you get this e-mail hyping a service or an item on a special sale with a limited amount of time to purchase it….do you buy it? No, not without looking around. Check out other retailers that may carry the same item, check out other businesses that may offer the same or similar services. Do be sure you are checking apples with apples, though. It does not do you any good to compare a beauty school price on a haircut with a full service salon. Just because the e-mail said the service is originally $300 and on sale today for $100 does not make it an excellent deal. The place next door may offer the service every day at $85. Remember these e-mail are advertisements. Some of these e-mails really and truly offer a great deal..but sometimes it is not.
- Read the fine print/ask questions-—If you receive an an email for a product you can get on “sale” through an email using a special link, check the link out BEFORE you buy. Are the prices higher on the link, is the shipping higher? Also, be sure to check out what shipping costs for many deals. If you are buying something over the phone or in person ask what is required, how long is the return policy, is there a fee for early termination, is there a restocking fee, is there a warranty, what does it cover, etc.
Remember it is YOUR money. If the deal sounds too good to be true do some research. You do not need to catch EVERY deal. I would rather miss a deal than purchase one without knowing all the facts.