Beware of the "Deals" that aren't Deals

posted 12/23/2014 in General

With holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers everywhere are busting out the deals to entice you into their store and persuade you to make a purchase. But are their “deals” actually worth it? Or are they just a marketing ploy to get you to spend money?

Generally speaking, it’s the latter. At Lincoln Savings Bank, we want to be sure our customers are making smart financial choices this holiday season. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sales and deals to see if they actually check out.

“Buy (insert number), get one FREE!”

The higher the number of items you have to purchase before you get the free item, the less value this sale has. First, it requires you to make a larger commitment. Second, you get less of a discount the higher the number of required purchased items. If it’s a “buy one, get one free” you saved 50 percent on the price of two of that item; not bad. However, “buy two, get one free” drops you to 33 percent savings, and “buy three, get one free” drops you even further to 25 percent savings. Plus, do you really need that many of whatever it is you’re buying?

Deals with limited quantities

These are the deals that promote fights on Black Friday. For example, a retailer puts out an ad for Product A, but stipulates they only have five in stock and then they’re out. You better hope you’re the first person to see the ad, fastest to get to the store and quickest to find the product. This “deal” is a draw to get you into the store so they can sell you something else you may not need.

“Red-tag sales extravaganzas”

Don’t be fooled; this is mostly all advertising. Retailers get to put up bright red signs and slap red stickers on items claiming bottom line prices, but in reality some retailers have only dropped prices one or two percent. See what their price is in the store, then do a quick search on your phone for the same product. If you find prices are much lower at other stores, ask if they will price match.  If not, then you can choose to shop elsewhere.

Sales on inferior goods

This is most commonly seen on electronics, specifically TVs at large chain retailers. It may be a 50-inch TV, but you don’t find out until you’re in the store that it’s not HD and that instead of 1080p, it’s only 720p. But now the retailer has you in their store so they can sell you a much nicer model with a higher price tag.

Retailers are counting on your brain to be overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds of the holiday season. By taking a moment to really evaluate a sale or deal, you can save yourself time and money on unnecessary or inferior purchases.

We hope these tips help you in your holiday purchases. If there is anything else Lincoln Savings Bank can do to make your holiday season go smoother feel free to let us know!

Lincoln Savings Bank, member FDIC

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