Thrifty Tip: Deal or No Deal?

by - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

With the countdown to Christmas in full swing, there are literally thousands of deals available online and in-store. These companies, while offering great prices for gifts for those loved ones on your shopping list, are also trying to lure you into impulse buying. A deal is really only a deal if you would have purchased the item (not necessarily the same brand) anyways. Otherwise, it's just an impulse buy.

For instance, on Black Friday my local Walmart had a large Minnie Mouse plush for $10. but she was not on our shopping list and just would have been an impulse buy. Once we got home we began thinking about how much she would have liked the plush. Then last night, had the similar item for the same price plus free shipping. With tax, it came out to be the same price as we would have paid in-store. He told me snatch it up quick and I did. We could have saved a little regret from not buying it earlier but at the time we still had other gifts to buy and Minnie was not on the list. I think it was meant to be. The same deal passed our way twice!!

I'm not saying that you should not take advantage of the deals, I'm just saying that you should take a little time to mull it over. If it is not a hot ticket item right now (I don't know how many Christmas lists actually had a 17 inch Minnie on it but I can't think it would be too many) then it can probably wait to be mulled over a little bit. Impulse buys lead to overspending and possibly unnecessary returns. I personally dislike having money tied up in my credit card/ debit card.

Also be wary of companies telling you "Deal. Ends soon!"  (especially online.) "Soon" is so vague that these deals often stay at that discounted price for at least a few days  Unless there is a definite end date don't fall into the impulse buy. I've seen this several times the past few weeks.

Happy shopping!
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