Beware of After Christmas Sales

I don’t know if it’s just me but I have noticed that a lot of merchants are heavily promoting after Christmas sales this year. It seems they are trying to appeal to our desire to save money during this economic situation by promoting day after Christmas discounts. But don’t be fooled they are still trying to get you to spend. Here are some things you may want to consider before you hit these “sales”:

  • Don’t get sucked in the “clearance” game. At some point or another I have fallen for this one: “what if I don’t need it? It’s XX% off!” Only to buy something that sits collecting dust and never gets used. Talk about a serious waste of money. So yes, maybe the item is 75% off but if you don’t need it then you are just wasting your money. Think once and then think again if this item you are thinking of buying really is something you will use. If it isn’t then keep your money in your pocket.
  • Hold on until the greater discounts. The truth is chances are that you may be able to find the same items that are on discount at 50% when they go on deeper discount at 75-90%. As much as I am really looking forward to shop the clearance sales (because I am, don’t get me wrong), I am waiting until they hit 75% off. This is mostly because the only thing I really need is wrapping paper and I know chances are pretty good that there will still be left over when the discount is 75%.
  • Watch the register. Make sure you are getting the advertised sales discount. It can happen that a store has not marked down all of their items and even though you think you are getting a higher discount, you may be actually getting a lower one. Don’t trust what a sign or sticker may say, scan items for prices if the store has price scanners or make sure the price at the register is the right one.
  • Check expiration dates: This is particularly important if you are thinking on stocking up on food that has been packaged for the holidays or food that you can only find during the holidays. Make sure to check the dates and that you get only enough to be used by that date.
  • Check return policies. Many stores don’t allow returns on clearance items. Find out what the store’s policy is and consider this when you purchase something.

Have fun bargain hunting but make sure you don’t waste your money.

Originally posted 12/26/2008.