UNITED STATES—I recently heard some people talking about the thrill of getting a good deal. However, they followed that up with the downside, spending money we don’t have to spend. It got me thinking, why are we so prone or quick to snap up a deal because it’s a deal? This is a question that forces us to use psychology to think about the move we’re making before we make it. Americans are impulse buyers; we see something, we like it, we can afford it, we buy it.

Which begs the question why buy it if we don’t need it? I think it goes with the notion that we realized we got something on sale that was an absolute steal. I’ve said this before and I will say it again; anything that is under 50 percent off is NOT a deal. It is not, if people think saving 20 percent to 30 percent is a deal, I guess money is something that is not a factor for you. Twenty percent off $100 is just $20 bucks, not a lot, but you know what is, 50 percent.

That means you have to be aware of the lure that many retailers use to bring you into their establishments. That large sign that says up to 60 percent off is just that, a lure, because the key words to look for are ‘up to.’ That means a select few items are on sale. What is worse, the item or items (see what I did there) are likely already sold out. So, you get to the establishment and you’re trying to figure out exactly what was on sale. There is the kicker, there wasn’t but the retailer got your attention. I’ve learned a long time ago, the key is that you need to look for those signs that say, ‘Entire Store 60 percent or 70 percent off.’ That means every item in the store you will see that discount applied to, so you’re more likely to catch an item you truly want at a sale price.

In addition, think about what you’re buying. Are you buying the item because it’s a sale and you feel like you’d be stupid if you didn’t buy it or is this something you truly want? If you want it and there are plans to use the item, that’s one thing. However, if you’re purchasing the item and it is NOT going to be used, you are just wasting money. Is that smart? Nope, and on top of that the retailers are getting smarter, where items that are marked at clearance rates have a final sale policy. Once the transaction is completed you cannot decide a day or week later you want to return it. Nope, once you buy it is yours forever.

Yeah, I guess many retailers were losing too much revenue in people returning items they purchased on clearance, and reminder, items are on clearance for a reason, the retailer is trying to get rid of them. There is one more thing you have to remember about getting a good deal, if you don’t truly want it, do NOT buy it. We tend to have this guilt about going into a retailer and walking out empty-handed. Guess what? That’s ok if you go into an establishment and you don’t find anything you want, just leave. Don’t feel compelled to spend money if you don’t want to and especially if you do not have it.

There is no law that says you have to purchase an item if you don’t feel the need to do so. Just let it be people. Save your money for something you really want. When it comes to purchasing goods, you have to ask yourself this question, is this something I REALLY want or am I just buying it to buy it. If it’s the latter, you know the decision you need to make.

Written By Jason Jones