Let’s face it: retailers have huge budgets that are used to find ways to trick consumers into parting with their hard earned money. When you go shopping there are all types of deals that you have to contemplate as to which one is the best for you. Many times, we use flawed math to come to the conclusion as to which deal truly is the best.
10 for $10
One common trick is the “10 for $10″ deal you find at the grocery store. Many consumers, including myself will buy 10 items for $10 even if we really don’t need 10 of them. If you were only planning to buy three of something and they were regularly priced at $1.99, then you would have spent $5.97 on them. On sale, if you only bought the three, it would cost you $3. But we spend $10, which is more than we should have spent!
Of course, if you are planning to eat all of the item that is on sale, it can be argued that you should take advantage of the 10 for $10 sale. For me, I eat yogurt every morning for breakfast. So buying all 10 yogurts makes sense for me since I will definitely eat them all. But if you are buying more of something just because it is on sale, you are spending more money than you should.
Buy More and Save!
I personally love this one (and by love I mean hate). The theory of this one goes that if you buy one item you will save $5. But if you buy two or more items, you will save $12. In our minds, we see saving $12 as better than saving $5, so we buy a few items to save the $12. But what if we only needed one? We again just spent more money than we needed to. If you go to a clothing store and see sweaters with the buy more and save deal, be wary. How many sweaters do you really need? Most likely it is just one. Therefore there is no need to buy multiple sweaters.
The Best Deal Ever Sale
This one is used more by the salesman. They will claim that this is the best deal ever; that the item in question will never be sold for less than this and you need to buy it now. This plays into our sense of urgency. We buy into the fact that we need to buy this item now otherwise we will forever regret it. But, in most cases, this is not true. Stores will always have sales and the chances that this item won’t be on sale again is a tough sale.
Of course, if the sale truly is a “once in a lifetime” sale, meaning it is 99% off, then you should move to buy it. But otherwise, we need to pause and make sure that we really are getting an incredible deal.
Making sure we are getting a great deal doesn’t involve calculus. It involves just a couple minutes of thought – most times math isn’t even needed. In the cases of any sale asking you to buy more to save more or getting a bunch of items for a lower price, we just have to keep in mind how many of the item in question we really need. Don’t let the sale factor into this decision. If you only need two, then buy two – no math involved at all.
For other types of sales, some math will need to be used. When it’s a best deal ever, simply look at how much you are saving in dollar terms and divide that by the original sales price and convert to a percentage. With smartphones having calculators, apps and access to the web, there is no real reason why you cannot complete a quick calculation or comparison to verify if the deal you are getting is really the best deal ever.
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