How to Avoid Holiday Sales Traps All Year Round

holiday sales traps

No matter what time of year it is or what holiday is around the corner, retail establishments are constantly bombarding consumers with an array of ads promoting sales and great deals for “a limited time only.” Retailers will use any holiday they can think of to have a “sale”.

After awhile, many of those deals begin to sound more and more appealing, and before you know it, you’ve given in.

Although there are times when you do find a great deal, there are other times when you discover that an offer really was too good to be true. So, how do you know when to take advantage of holiday sales or deals and when to walk away? Look out for these three holiday sales traps, so you’ll know what deals to avoid all year round.

BOGO Offers

As soon as stores use the word “free,” they instantly have the consumer’s attention. Whether you’re offered buy-two-get-one-free or buy-two-for-the-cost-of-one, BOGO offers are a sales trap you should definitely be wary of.

If you genuinely need three t-shirts, then you should take advantage of this offer. However, more likely than not, you don’t need multiples of the same item, which means you end up spending twice as much as you normally would.

Extended-Warranty Offers

If you’ve ever bought a pricey electronic or appliance, then you’ll know this trap well. Whenever making a large purchase the cashier will inevitably ask if you’d like to purchase the extended warranty.

Most of the time however, this is a cost that will end up being a complete waste. Most items come with a standard 12-month warranty to begin with, so it’s worth reading the fine print to see what’s already covered. Furthermore, no matter how much longer that extended-warranty is for, by the time you’d actually use it, it may be expired. Worse yet, the company may deem your item damaged by “normal wear and tear”, which usually isn’t covered. If you’re worried about expensive repairs try saving the money yourself. You’ll have it if you need it or have extra cash if you don’t.

One-Day Only Sales

This one may not seem overtly like a sales trap, but you’d be surprised how much this can affect the amount you spend. If a retailer advertisers sales prices for one day only, you may start to think that you’d be a fool to not take advantage of the sale. However, because items are shown at discounted prices, you may end up spending more than you normally would. You’ll grab more items and probably go a little overboard, as this sale puts in your mind the idea that you won’t find these items at these prices again.

There are plenty of times when shopping around a sale or advertised deal can truly benefit you and your wallet. Unfortunately, there are other moments when retailers cause you to spend more than you normally would by trapping you in a too-good-to-be-true offer. That being said, make sure you take the time to evaluate any deals and potential purchases before heading to the cash register to ensure that you avoid holiday sales traps.

What are some holiday sales traps you’ve fallen in to? How can they be avoided?


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