Beware Of The Sale


purchasing items on sale, buying items on sale, purchasing special offers

A sale doesn’t always save you money. That might seem counter-intuitive as by definition a sale is reducing the price of an item. Sometimes a sale may tempt a person to buy something they will regret later. It was just this kind of scenario that just about caused me to waste $200 over the weekend.

While in Walmart picking up a few things, I walked through what was left of the home and garden center to see if anything I needed was on clearance. I noticed a smoker I had once been very interested in had a red clearance tag on it. The regular price of $268 had been reduced to $199. My mind went into overdrive thinking of something I wanted being reduced by close to $70, and it would already be assembled. How could I pass up such a deal?

I then remembered why it was I had lost interest in the smoker. The cooking chamber was a little smaller than what I wanted, and the online reviews were mediocre including many saying the paint would bubble and peel off immediately. I have a smoker that works perfectly fine, and when the time comes for me to buy a new one, I want to make sure it’s exactly what I want. This smoker was NOT exactly what I want, even at the greatly reduced price.

When contemplating buying something on sale, don’t be blinded by the fact that it’s on sale, make sure you do due diligence to ensure you are getting the most for your hard earned cash. Ask yourself these questions:

Have I Researched The Price?

The item might be on sale at this particular retailer, but is it the best possible price? Always price compare with other retailers, including online retailers to make sure you’ve found the best possible price.

Was I Going To Buy It Anyway?

It’s not a sale if you weren’t going to buy the item anyway.

Is It Exactly What I Want?

Never settle for something less than what you truly want. Down the road, you will likely regret your purchase and buy the item you really want anyway.

What Is The Return Policy?

If the sale is one of those, “All Sales are Final,” situations, I may think a bit longer about whether I want to buy it.

Can I Afford It?

Most importantly, do you have the cash to buy the item? If you buy the item with credit, you’ll likely pay more in interest than you save with the sale.

Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Every purchase, even sale items, requires research and purposeful analysis before making a final decision. The next time your eyes light up seeing a sign that says, “Sale!” or “Clearance,” ask yourself these simple questions before heading to the checkout lane.

How about you, Clever Friends, have you ever purchased something on sale, only to regret it later?

Disease Called Debt

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • How true. I have spent so much money, ‘saving money’. We, consumers, put a lot of faith in the word ‘sale’ Is it really cheaper than before. Unless we have researched the price, we don’t really know if it is actually a sale. I have been caught out before, that’s for sure.

    I know when I am doing the grocery shopping before I check out I always go to the fruit and vegetable section and stare into my trolley. I look at all the items I have picked up along the way because they were on ‘sale’ and think “do I really need this?” Most times I end up saying ‘not really’ and put the item back. Saves me a lot of money these days. Thanks Adrian

  • “Was I going to buy it anyway?” Such a good question to ask yourself. Today I was contemplating buying oatmeal that was on special-the flavor was good and the price was good too. But then I thought that I already had this week’s breakfasts planned and didn’t need oatmeal, so I walked away. It’s not saving money if you’re spending money you don’t intend to!

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