19 September 2014

How I Turn these 5 Store Tricks Around and Save My Money

I'm positive that everyone is aware that shops use tricks to entice customers, just like you and me, into spending money, usually more money than we had intended.

But have you ever thought of turning those tricks around and using them so you, the customer, gets more out of the transaction than the stores? It's easy if you know how.

Trick 1: Loss Leaders.

These are the items "on special" that are priced so low you just have to go in and pick them up. Of course while you're there the store would like you to pick up a few other things that aren't on special.

I turn the trick around and pick up my loss leaders, pay for them and leave.

Trick 2: Interest Free Time Payments.

You've seen the ads "no payments and no interest for 39 months" and so on. With these deals the stores are footing the bill for the interest in the hope that at the end of the 39 months (or however long it is) you won't have finished paying for it. You'll then be whacked with a huge amount of interest back dated to the time of the sale.

I turn the trick around and pay the item off before the due date, using their money for free. Beware though: this can be a dangerous trick to play. Miss a payment or pay late and you'll be footing the entire bill plus interest.

Trick 3: Extended Warranty.

This one really plays on your emotions. You're so happy to be finally buying that new computer or TV or DVD recorder (extended warranties are usually targeted at electronic items), it's so lovely and new and a huge investment (according to your salesperson) that before you know it you've been signed up for an extended warranty. Don't do it, it's just easy money for the store.

I turn the trick around and say no. Extended warranties are used to get you to pay even more than you need to for that computer or game console or camera or whatever. Goods sold in Australia not only carry manufacturer's warranties but statutory warranties too, making extended warranties completely unnecessary. If you are really worried about out of warranty repairs write a category into your Spending Plan for such an event and bank $5 or $10 or however much you think you'll need each week.

Trick 4: Buying a Mobile Phone 

Phone companies love to sell you a contract because you are basically their financial prisoner for the duration. That's what they sell - contracts, the phone is an accessory. Don't do it.

I turn the trick around and buy my phones outright. When you do that you can buy it from an independent retailer.  You can even buy a used phone in good condition. There are lots of people out there who just have to have upgrade to the latest phone, making their current phone obsolete, at least in their eyes. If you need to upgrade snap up that bargain, then choose the service provider and plan that suits YOUR needs and budget. You won't be stuck in a contract so if you find a better deal you can just switch.

Trick 5: Buying one instead of the "2 for" deal.

I hate these deals. These deals are designed to get you to spend more. Plain and simple.

I turn the trick around and if I only need one, buy one. If I need three buy three. There is absolutely no reason why you can't just pay the unit price and be done with it instead of spending more money than intended and being stuck with an item you don't want and may not use.

These days shopping is a science. It's not as simple as deciding to buy something and heading to the shops. Stores use tricks (not that they would call them tricks) to part you from your money.

It's time to let the stores know the science is working. Take those tricks and turn them to your advantage, say thank you to the stores for investing millions of dollars into the research (saving you the money, time and energy) and keep more of your hard earned in your pocket.

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  1. Ive furnished my entire house with interest free and not paid one cent in interest. It takes discipline but i have the last laugh. GE hate me.

  2. While I have always thought that if I got stuck I would use the interest free option to buy furniture, but I have always been wary about getting caught out. Instead, when I was really certain that I needed an item I would then save my heart out until I had enough money and then I would haggle haggle haggle to get the absolutely best deal. Yes I might have to wait for that item, but it is so much more appreciated (for me anyway) when I finally do get it home and usually much cheaper and nothing owing on it.

    1. Irene that is the absolute best way to buy anything. You actually own the things you buy, you aren't paying any extra interest on them and as you say you often save money on the purchase by haggling. The secret is to continue saving once you have your item so you have the cash to replace it when it wears out. For example in the case of a washing machine the life expectancy these days is just five years so if you think a replacement will cost $1,500 in five years you need to save $300 a year or $6 a week so that when the time comes you will be able to replace your washing machine. If you do this you will never need to rely on credit or interest free loans again.


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