Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thrifty Thursdays: What Do The Ads Really Mean?
So after working in the wonderful world of retail during some of my high school and college days I learned two things.
1. I wanted to continue school if nothing else, so that I didn't have to be a cashier forever. It's a perfectly respectable job, but I could only take so much of it.
2. I figured out what all those headlines on the ads like "lowest price of the season" really meant.
It's not rocket science, but I guess I never really sat and thought about it much. There are some clues as to when you are getting a good deal and when you really aren't.
"Lowest price of the season" - pretty much never a spectacular deal. More likely a deal they run monthly. There are so many "seasons" in retail it's hard to keep track.
"Lowest price of the year" - a great deal if it's the end of the year, but you tend to see a lot of these at the beginning of the year. So technically it may be the best price of the year, but the year may only be a few weeks old.
"Lowest price ever" - this one you rarely see, but if you do, you're likely getting a good deal.
"Our best holiday prices' - pretty useless, likely equal to lowest price of the season.
Also, stores use promotions like rebates to lure customers in, knowing full well that nearly half of those customers who buy a rpoduct based on the rebate price will, in fact, never take the time to send the rebate in and therefore pay a lot more than what it is worth.
For example, I bought an SD card and a jump drive during black Friday on Circuit City's web site. Both items had mail-in rebates and the rebates totaled $25. When I received the package, I did not receive the mail-in rebates. After a bit of looking on their site, I found a section listing all their rebates from the last year and printed them off. It is the difference between me paying $40 for the two items and $15.
I have to make it a priority to send inr ebates however, or I fall into the group that never gets aroudn to it. I usually fill them out as soon as I buy the product so I don't forget.
Enough fun for today:). Happy shopping.