When Great Deals Are Not That Great

Reading Time: 4 minutes    

You really don’t have to be a shopaholic to find great deals. You just need to be detail-oriented and practice customer awareness.


Customer awareness is the ability to truly recognize what is being sold and if it is being sold at a fair or more favorable price.


A lot of times we end up learning the hard way. We buy something and then we stumble upon a great deal elsewhere. If the difference isn’t much, we may end up keeping the item.


If it’s a lot we still may keep it due to laziness or we may end up returning the original item purchased and buy it elsewhere. Actually, our household has returned items plenty of times; so much, that, admittedly we are temporarily banned from returning items at a particular store.  🙂



TVs – Read The Specifications


Technology is one of those ever-changing things. And it’s no surprise that TVs are in the forefront of the technological race. It simply comes down to supply and demand.


Consumers don’t want LED anymore, they want 4k, or OLED or QLED (please don’t ask me the difference in these). People don’t want a 60hz refresh rate but want 120hz, actually, let’s bump it up to 240hz. People don’t want a 65 inch, let’s squeeze 5 more inches and make it 70! But all these little increases in specifications can amount to hundreds of dollars more in price.


A few months ago I was researching TVs. Just comparing two TVs with the same overall specs; just the size was different. One TV was 55 inches and the other was 60 inches. The 5-inch difference in price amounted to over $300! I ended up buying the 55 inch and am totally happy with it. Plus it’s for a smaller room so the TV actually looks bigger than a 55 inch anyway.



Furniture – Check Quality


Furniture is actually related to your overall health. We spend 6-8 hours every night sleeping. We should have a comfortable mattress and a durable and sturdy bed frame.


Many wholesalers offer mattresses at cheap prices, but beware of their deals! Merchandise offered by wholesalers may not be the best quality. After a short time, you may start feeling the springs underneath a mattress and as a result, the mattress may not be completely even.


To achieve a great deal on a mattress, I’d suggest waiting for a sale and splurging with a name brand mattress from a reputable company. Don’t compromise your sleep to save a few dollars. Your work hard and deserve to rest on a comfortable and long-lasting bed.


The same goes for sofas in that they should be comfortable and long-lasting. We use sofas a lot if they are in the family room (not the fancy super-uncomfortable ones people buy for rooms they hardly ever step foot into).


Adequate research should be performed before purchasing a sofa set. For example, a few months ago, we changed out our sofa set (we sold our old sofa on OfferUp so that was a nice little offset to the purchase price towards the new set).


Anyway, the store we visited was charging about $150 more than the price we found online. When we inquired with the manager, he gave some bogus reason that this is a brick and mortar store so we have to factor in the costs of our showroom, personal, set-up and restocking fees, and whatever other nonsense. At that point, I really just tuned him out.


We ended up calling the supplier and they had their own showroom. They said they would match the online price. In less than an hour, we were at the supplier’s showroom and were buying the sofa set at the online price – a savings of over $150 for the exact same sofa set!




Check Shipping Costs


I may be one of the few people who does not have Amazon Prime. To be honest, I don’t use Amazon enough to justify acquiring Prime and the benefits it offers like their TV service. These days I’m so busy that I don’t have a lot of time for Netflix either but have it more so for my son to watch.


Anyway, in circling back to Amazon, because I don’t have Prime, I would have to pay for shipping. That is if I need something fast. However, I can’t remember a situation where I ever needed something so urgently that I ended up paying for shipping cost.


Many times online retailers will sneak in these shipping costs, which are added on the very last screen before you get ready to buy something. That’s not a great deal. So what do I do? I just don’t buy the item or go to a local store instead to find a better value.


I have run across situations where I am getting ready to purchase something for $10 or less and shipping is up to $15, so the total cost ends up being 1.5 times more! At that point, it’s pretty easy to decide that I don’t need this or I’m sure I can find a suitable substitution at a physical store.


One final suggestion is to Google medium to big ticket items you plan to buy. It’ll give you a rough idea or a starting point in your research.


We research our investments; we should research our spending too. A great deal is one that you will remember and maybe even brag about a little too. And a bad deal is one that part of you will want to quickly forget, but the other part will still remember because you’ll learn from it.



Join The Discussion:

  1. Have you purchased or almost purchased something only to find out there is a greater deal elsewhere?
  2. Have you purchased something, found a good deal, but got stuck with because you couldn’t return or exchange the item?
  3. How much research do you typically put into purchases of, let’s say $1,000?




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