While waiting for a movie to start, Hubby and I saved money. All we had to do was buy a few things. If we had purchased this beautiful Brahmin backpack, which I guess is made of alligator, we would have saved even more money! The workmanship is exquisite, the texture luxurious, and the price just the other side of precious at $325.
I get it. Craftsmanship costs money, and don’t forget, it will outlive the current style trends by decades. We could have saved $65. How could I pass up an alligator backpack? If I don’t need the backpack, I bet my daughter would love it. How could I pass up the $65 savings?
So our bank account is growing with each purchase!
No, that didn’t happen. We did save 50 percent off the originally advertised price on two items that were from the clearance rack. We saved 30 percent from the original price on another two items that were just on sale.
But wait! There is even more savings! I left my purse, and my department store credit card, in the car. To save an additional 20 percent off, Hubby opened his own department store credit card account.
Before you reach for your wallet, there is something all shoppers need to know about these offers to save money. These offers to save money do not come from the generous spirit of the department store management. These sales and offers are a carefully crafted way to increase their profits.
Those setting prices are guessing how much you will be willing to pay for an item. When items don’t sell after a certain period of time, they are discounted to entice us to reach for our wallets and buy. Once the next season’s items are coming into the store, items are pushed to clearance in an effort to make room for new inventory, and not get stuck with a bunch of summer items, when we are all waiting for snow. The next step is a sale on clearance items, pushing the price down to as low as 70 percent off the original sticker price in order to minimize loss on an item.
That extra discount for getting a store credit card is a carefully crafted method of getting as much of your money as possible. Information and data have been collected that show few of us have the self discipline to always pay off our balance every month, and every month that we carry a balance over to the next month we pay 24, 25, 26+ percent interest on the balance, including the new charges.
The sales person loudly congratulated us on our $88.99 savings, and circled the extra large type displaying our discounted amount with red pen to draw even further attention to it. We could have spent more, but we were smart enough not to. The store still got $61.01 of our hard earned money. Our bank account did not increase with these saving. There is also the added temptation to use a credit card, that ends up costing most people far more than the 20 percent they save on one day of purchases. Most people carry these debts for many years, and the department stores consider all those interest charges profit.
I am nice to salespeople just doing their jobs. I don’t point out that I didn’t save anything, but was smart enough to not buy their over-priced, marked up items until I could get them for a more reasonable price.
Department stores may know how to play the game to maximize profit, but we can learn to maximize our purchasing power by playing the system to our advantage. If we are careful with our spending, and actually put some money into savings, perhaps when we reach for our wallet we will feel a little more comfortable.