90% off is not a deal if you don’t need it.
I found myself in a strange battle of wills last week. My favorite store, Target, was having another one of those spectacular sales. Red tags featuring the 75% off, and the rare 90% off, sticker were scattered far and wide throughout the store. And try as I might, I could not find a reason to buy anything.
It was hard work leaving the store empty-handed. Some of the items were reduced from $40 to just $4. Others were down from $120 to $30. Deals, deals, deals. The one I had the most trouble leaving alone was a beautiful full sized comforter set, down from $80 to $20. Great color, good fabric, a steal.
Trouble is, we don’t own a full sized bed. So I stood there thinking “hmm, could I buy it and sell it, maybe make a few bucks?” and “do I get this now, just in case we get a full sized bed?” What was I doing? “Leave it alone!” I screamed internally. Then I walked, quickly, out of the store. I initially felt like a fool for not getting anything, but later realized I had done the right thing.
This is a quandary I often find myself in. As a deal hound, I can sniff out a bargain at 100ft. But then I just can’t leave it alone. The fact that it’s a deal turns off, for a moment anyway, that part of my brain that says “but you don’t need it…walk away.” Is it greed? You bet, I admit it. It’s also preparing for those times of feast or famine, too. I grew up in a poor family and if my folks saw something on sale they would grab it, even if they didn’t need it until months, or even years, later.
So, what’s my advice if you’re as tempted as I am? It’s simply this…take a moment. If you see an incredible deal, don’t just pop it into your shopping cart, take it home and then leave it to rot in your garage or basement.
Simply stop and think…do I need this? Will I use this? If I’m buying it to sell, will I actually go through with it? Often that pause is enough to stop yourself getting a bargain that’s really not a bargain at all. Saving $36 on a $40 item is not much of a deal if that $4 could have been spent on something you really do need.