How to Spot Sales that are no Bargain

We’ve all purchased an item on sale only to find it was no bargain. Unfortunately some sales and discounts aren’t always what they seem. How do we spot the fakes and what should we be watching out for as consumers? Doing a little research before making a purchase can help us find some answers.

Almost anything can be researched on the Internet. There are many great search engines that provide valuable information; Google is perhaps one of the most popular. Taking a few moments to look up an item’s list price could help us score deals before we actually shop. When a store offers a discount, we’ll be able to know if the item is worth the price because we’ve done our homework. Here are a few types of sales to watch out for.

Holiday Sales

Some retailers offer discounts during the holidays, but these are based on inflated prices. An item might be marked up in value before it is offered to us on sale. If a certain percentage of savings is being offered, take the time to figure out the discount before heading to the cash register. Knowing the list price of an item will ensure true savings.

Liquidation Sales

When a company goes out of business or is downsizing inventory, they offer liquidation sales. Prices here are almost always inflated. Be careful and make sure that those large percentage discounts are really a savings. This is particularly true with name brand and big ticket items. Some stores plan these sales during periods of other advertised sales from their competitors. The larger percentage trick us into thinking we are getting great deals when in reality, the sales are the same.

On-line Sales

Beware of on-line Sales. Some on-line retailers offer genuine discounts but inflate shipping fees in order to compensate for this lost revenue. Shipping fees are not added to your account until check out, so make sure to read the billing agreement carefully before paying extra fees. Research average shipping rates to your area so that you will know if you are being taken advantage of in this way.

Short Sales on Real Estate

Neither the buyer nor the seller makes out on a short sale. Short sales usually result in a Homeowner’s default on their mortgage either due to over borrowing on their loans or paying more than the home’s equity in the first place. Banks force homeowners them to sell their homes. Because of this, there is no bargaining for the buyer. Houses offered on short sales are sold “as is”. No monies are negotiable for repairs, closing costs, or other fees.

Checking out potential deals before making a decision to purchase items is a good practice that will net true savings. With a little research and some comparison pricing, real bargains can be attained.