Stores often offer big discounts on products at the end of summer hoping consumers will shell-out money on these bargains. But splurging on sale price items isn’t always the best financial move and here to explain why that is, is Chris Maze of Coast Capital Savings.
Especially with the return to school right around the corner a lot of parents are looking for some good deals right now. What kind of items are you urging caution towards when it comes to buying them on sale?
I think first we need to acknowledge how different back to school looks this year. New backpacks and shoes may not be on the list for all Canadian families. But it is important with people feeling financial strain that you look very closely at the purchase that you’re making to ensure that you’re getting the best deals possible and that you’re not overpaying for your goods and services. This applies to things like groceries, clothing, travel (whenever we’re aloud to do that again) but also for any major purchases you’re making like new appliances or a vehicle.
What’s your advice when it comes to assessing whether a bargain is really a good bargain? We all know sometimes you see a sale and you think you’re getting a good deal but you’re actually not.
The first tips that we always offer our members when they’re assessing a new purchase is to ask yourself a couple of important questions:
- The first questions is, is this a want or is this a need? It’s hard to do in the middle of an impulse purchase or when you’re making a major purchase decision, but if it’s something that falls into the want category, a deal may not be a deal if you didn’t need the item in the first place.
- When it comes to back to school shopping many of those items do fall into the needs category, but you can still ask yourself the question whether your child needs a $200 pair of jeans this year, or maybe a $50 pair will suffice.
Once you’ve found a good deal, there’s a good chance there are several other people who want that as well. How do you recommend locking it down?
I think there’s a couple of items. Before you lock down the deal I would also ask if it’s something you can afford. If it’s something that falls into the wants category, if you have to pay for it with credit and you haven’t saved up enough money for that item it’s important to think of the cost of the interest you’ll be paying if you’re borrowing to make that purchase and consider that when deciding whether or not its a good deal.
The other tip around locking down the great deal is to go out and make that purchase. Whether it’s an online sale that you’re locking down on whether you’re going into a local store to make the purchase, thinking about how you’re paying is also important. If you’re going to use a credit card to get the best loyalty rewards program possible, make sure that you consider the interest that you’d be paying on your credit card into the purchase price. Talk to your financial institution if you don’t have the cash available because perhaps there’s a lower interest option such as a line of credit that you can take advantage of to reduce your interest costs.
What kind of businesses are you encouraging people to support right now?
Thanks for that question! It’s a really important time to think about where you’re spending your money, which business you’re rewarding with your purchase. We’ve all been hit in different ways through COVID and our local small business community has been hit hard. Maybe it’s not always the best deal, but maybe it is! But if you think about where you’re spending your money and if you choose to support a small business an your local economy that can have a huge impact right now on a sector that’s struggling.