Smart About Sales

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Smart About Sales

On Sale isn't always a good sign...

By Cinse Bonino

"I got this on sale."

Most people consider those to be the five happiest words in shopping. They can be.

IF you bought something you really like.
IF it fits or works well for you.
IF it's not something you really don't need that you had absolutely no intention of buying in the first place.

Save $20!!! Think of what you can do with the money you save.

Wait a minute. If I was going to buy a pair of shoes that cost $40 and they were on sale, half off, for $20, then yes, I WOULD have $20 extra in my pocket after I bought the shoes.

BUT let's say that I wasn't going to buy the shoes in the first place and that I don't REALLY need them or want them. In fact, let's say that when I get home I'll wish I hadn't spent $20 on them no matter what a great buy they were. Then if I buy them for $20, I would still have $20 in my pocket when I'm done, but it would be $20 less than I had before I was tricked into buying those shoes!

Why does stuff go on sale anyway?

Shop owners need to move it out. Either the item was a bad guess on the buyer's part OR it has a flaw or the average person doesn't like it, want it, or it doesn't fit them.

Sometimes that last one can be GOOD for you! It often is for me.

I have a long upper body and average size legs for my height, so sometimes there is a dress on sale that fits my upper body and is just the right length for me. It would have been too short for a woman or a girl who has an upper body as long as mine AND long legs to go with it. I luck out!

I think a good thing to do is to pretend everything on sale is still at the original price.

If you would pay the original price for something then you probably really like it. Go ahead, get it. But learn from your mistakes. If you have a tendency to buy things just because they are on sale, bring a good friend with you who will be honest about how stuff looks on you. Tell her to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

You don't want to wear your bargain one time and then realize that you really don't like it after all.

Here is a little bit of sale lingo to help you sale away:

Half off
Whether they say half off or 50% off it means that you pay half of the price. If it is marked $50 and is half off you pay $25. If it is marked 50% off the lowest ticketed price and it was $50 marked down to $40, you pay half of $40 which is $20.

10%
Sales are usually based on some multiple of 10%. Ten percent is easy to figure out. Take any price, say $50 and move the decimal point one place over to the left. $50.00 becomes $5.00. $25.00 becomes $2.50. Get it?

20% is two times 10%. 20% of $25.00 is 10% times two OR $2.50 times 2 which is $5.00. Subtract the $5.00 from the $25 and you get your sale price -- $20!

25% & 75%
25% is one fourth off. Divide the price in half and then in half again to get 25%. 75% means that you PAY 25% of the price. This is the best sale of all IF it is something you really like and want.

The math may be easy for you to do, but you want to make sure that you are thinking clearly about the money when you have all those sale clothes staring you in the face!