As the economy improves, saving money on retail purchases may be harder

Yesterday, the Washington Post had an article entitled, “The golden days of ’40 percent off’ sales are over.” The premise was that saving money will now be a bit harder as retailers look to regain profits lost during heavy discounting in recent years. Naturally, I was intrigued by the article, but not too alarmed. We’ll look at what this really means, and what you can do about it.

Because a store lists items at “40% off,” enticing you to enter because of the perceived “deal,” it may be an item that was a poor seller. Retailers are focused on saving money, too, and want to clear low performing inventory ASAP. Also, the item may have been way overpriced previously and no longer a competitive deal, so they need to discount it, too. Or, an item may have been a loss leader just to get you in the store. By advertising a big deal on an item that the retailer makes little, if any profit on, if one feels they are getting a deal, one might be more inclined to buy more than they had intended. Volume is where money is then made.

Saving money is still possible

saving moneyOk, we eliminated three of perhaps several reasons why discounts occur. So, we are left with “higher” prices than before as the discounts are removed. If saving money is still the goal, how can we achieve it? Simple. Using many of the tricks I have discussed in the past, we can still comparison shop, buy discounted gift cards (10% off Macy’s card, for example), look for promotional coupons that might exist, and track prices online and receive alerts when prices drop.

Just because prices may be climbing doesn’t mean saving money is over, we may just need to look a little harder for them and plan accordingly. I am here to help.

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mschroed@hotmail.com

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