When a Bargain is Not a Bargain

Table of Contents

Smart Shopping – Taking Time to Think

We have all been there – suddenly in front of us is that great/shinny/new thing that we have to have and look – it is on SALE – it is a BARGAIN!

Although we have not budgeted for it, frugal living has put us in the enviable position of being able to pay for it with cash.

So what is stopping us? Why are we standing in the aisle thinking and not running towards the checkout till with the item clutched firmly in our hands?

Frugal Thinking – Overcoming Consumer Conditioning

As frugal consumers there may be a number of reasons we are wisely putting on the breaks – not the least of which is our awareness of and resistance to consumer conditioning.

What is consumer conditioning?

It can be a multitude of factors including such things as

  • positioning/wording/graphics on the product’s display,
  • use of the word ‘Sale’ and implied limitations on availability,
  • music and store ambiance,
  • the ads we may have seen about the product,
  • colour and shape of the product,
  • perceived coolness/hipness of the product/brand, and
  • many, other marketing/advertising/conditioning factors.

Simply put, we have received countless marketing and conditioning messages about buying and products that has almost nothing to do with our ‘real need’ for a given product.

Realizing that your desire for the item may have very little to do with the item or your ‘need’ for it – can help to break your consumer programming and enable you to make better, more rational and informed decisions about spending your money – if you take the time to think.

Frugal Shoppers: Beware of ‘Bargains’

One type of ‘consumer conditioning’ that can be especially hard for us frugal types to resist is a ‘bargain’ in the form of a ‘sale’.

We want to make the most of our money – and we realize that there are times we need to act quickly to secure he best price on a particular time. However, just as ‘new’ attracts the early adopter of items – ‘sale’ is designed to attract us frugal types.

Many of us thrive on the challenge of finding the perfect ‘bargain’ but it is important to remember:

“A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.”
–Sidney Carroll

Take the time to think before you buy that ‘bargain’.

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