New sales are launched each month. And brands keep marketing to make you spend on the sales. Are you planning to shop on a sale day to save money?
Let’s discuss whether these sales actually save you money or help you in improving your personal finance.
Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 33 seconds
Buckle up, here we go!
Since childhood, we have always shopped around festival seasons. And now we continue this more for the sales offered by companies during the festival seasons.
These days, new festive seasons like Black Friday sales are being introduced in India. Every month we have some sales going on.
And as always, we shop on sales to save money. But are we really saving money by shopping on sales?
Yes and no.
Yes, if you plan your purchases well ahead of time, track prices, and buy only what you need.
No, if you buy things just because it’s on sale and you never had it on your purchase list.
Also, brands don’t always give huge discounts during sales. Most of the time, it’s just a marketing gimmick.
According to an analysis by Ace Turtle, the average discount on days when there are no sales events is 47%, which barely increases to 50% on such days. So, the notion of heavier discounting during the festivities might not be correct in all cases.
I have witnessed it myself. I visited a store to purchase a laptop, and the store staff informed me they have a two-day sale. The staff said they offered me the best price. I checked prices on their website, and the prices were the same.
Fortunately, I couldn’t buy the laptop that day because I wasn’t sure about it. After a few days, after finalising when I went back to the store, I found out the laptop is Rs.4k cheaper now. I bought it instantly.
I found similar strategies used by many brands. They increase the price of many products on sale days. Only some people who have been tracking the price of the product will notice this change. Most of them won’t know about this. They would buy on sale day thinking it is cheaper.
So, be careful. You might walk out of the store feeling like a money-saving champion. You think you avoided paying full price and bested the store in the process!
But you didn’t. The house always wins!!!
They might sell you one product cheaper to make sure you buy other products. For example, mobile companies sell their mobile phones at huge discounts. Because they know you will come back for mobile accessories like chargers, headphones, cases, etc. They have high margins on these accessories.
Shopping for a sale can be valuable to your financials, but only if you do so thoughtfully. You should remember that you’re only saving money if you planned to buy the item anyway.
If you’re buying something just because it’s on sale. You’re actually spending more money because you never intended to buy the item in the first place.
Getting something you had already budgeted for at a lower price will actually save you money, as opposed to something you decide to buy because it’s on sale.
If you don’t believe me, we asked the same question to OpenAI’s revolutionary chatbot ‘ChatGPT’. ChatGPT is a chatbot where users can ask questions, and the platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide replies. ChatGPT is even said to take the place of Google.
Here is what ChatGPT says about saving money from sales.
Now that we know sales is not always good for us. Let’s see how we can smartly use sale events to save money.
Steps to improve your personal finance through sales
Step 1: Plan your shopping list in advance
Instead of purchasing something as soon as you have the idea to buy it, create wish lists.
Segregate them into short, mid and long-term lists based on when you will need them and when you will be able to save enough to buy them.
Step 2: Track prices
Check the pricing history and see if they have offered good deals on any sale day.
Step 3: Buy time
On the day of the sale event, if you are sure you want to purchase that item. And you have enough money to pay for it fully even though you can use a credit card or some other method. If you are getting a real deal, shop happily and have fun.
Sounds boring? Yes, these steps make the fun of shopping go away and make it boring, but it is necessary.
These steps will help you avoid feeling guilt from shopping on impulse and from FOMO. Also, you can avoid going broke.
If you struggle with the dilemma to save or spend? We spoke about it here. Hope this might help you.
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