What a bargain?

Since late September, ads on the radio and TV are  shouting “$9000 OFF!“,  “BIGGEST SALE EVER“, or 50%, 60%, 75% OFF…you get the idea.  So how cheap does that make the item?  Better yet, the “$64,000 question” here is really “How much is the item really worth?”

In our consuming society, do we ever really stop to think how much it costs to make a particular item and then how much is a worthy price?  If an item is discounted, how much is too much?  Some might say “it’s never enough!”

Years ago, in malls here on the east coast of Florida, there used to be a store selling world import goods.  People thought that the store was “GOING OUT OF BUSINESS” – an attractive way to advertise – because everything in that store was “90% OFF”.  It was a fantastic marketing tool, except just how real is 90% off?  And when will it be marked down 100%?  Seriously.  Think about the mark up for this to occur!

This holiday season is full of great bargains but to be sure you are getting the best deal, you might want to think about what goes into making the item (cost of materials), how it got to the store (cost of delivery), and how unique it is (is it mass produced?).

While it isn’t a new concept, shopping local is the best way to get the best deal on quality merchandise.  The more original the merchandise and more local the materials are, usually the better the quality.  Shop local Main Street retailers or Green Markets. Purchasing goods here that are priced more realistically, are sometimes negotiable.  Yes, negotiable.  Most locally owned businesses have more freedom for making deals on their merchandise than the Gap does…(but even the Gap can work with you if you ask the right questions.)  

In the interest of “cheapness” or getting the best “bang for your buck“, get to know the facts about the merchandise you are buying. Find out where it is made and sold.  (Apps like Red Laser on your smartphone can be a huge help too.)

So whether you BOGO (buy one, get one free) or get “TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE”, buying local as often as possible will ensure that your dollar will go farther and for a good cause.  Besides, the real sales start the day after Christmas……….

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