Are You Ripping Me Off?
Keeping Your Money Series
Stores go to great lengths to get you to come in and spend your money. Although being a smart consumer, being able to spot a good deal is key. Stores sometimes will show things on sale that are not really on sale. They will place yellow tags on the shelves and show a cheap sale price. However, sometimes this price is the regular price. They are hoping you will not notice.
The best way to spot these false sales is to know about how much something costs normally. You can search the weekly ads, or search stores apps to get a good sense of prices. Target has recently done a great job of designing their iPhone app. You are able to view the weekly ad, and compare sale prices to similar products. Target takes it a step further though and lists coupons and deals associated with that particular product. You have to click on the item to see these features though. You can find the Target App here.
Is it a loss leader?
Stores offer products significantly marked down in order to get you in the door. These products are known as loss leaders because stores take a loss on the product, selling them for less than what they cost. Are they just nuts? Well the idea is to lure you in for those cheap products and have you buy ones that are more expensive. You will get the idea that all the products in the store are just as inexpensive, potentially making you more willing to spend your cash. In fact, many large retailors use this strategy frequently.
Have you seen that toaster for $5 on the endcap? It is there for a reason, go down the toaster aisle and every toaster is just as affordable. In reality, they are not. that is why it is so important to know about how much things cost traditionally.
The stores feel like they have tricked you, but you can return the favor. Those loss leaders are a good bargain. Stick to buying those sale items and other good purchases and you will be set.
A recent example of a horrible deal I came across. My local store had a deal that if you bought 3 bags of chips you got $5 off instantly. Sounds good right? The probem thogh was a bag of chips I can normally get for $2.50, or so on sale, was now $4.75 a bag. So 3 bags at the normal price would be around $7.50. As a side note, I could buy two large bags of oranges foraround $7.50. Okay, back to the chips. So 3 bags would cost about $14.25, and after the $5 savings it would put me back about $9.25. Wow!
They made this out to be a great deal and many fell for it. However, since I knew what a good deal was, I passed it up. Another quick example is 10 for $10 sales. These can be great, but be aware. They often mark products up to a dollar. For example, sports drinks that go on sale for 69 cents, will be part of the 10 for $10. The store is making 31 cents more on each one. So be aware of these tactics next time you venture out to the store.
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