Avoid Sales for the Sake of Sales

Let’s face it: sales work — especially things like going out of business sales. They work because they create a sense of urgency, and because they play on our desire to “get a good deal”.

The thing is, a good deal is only a good deal if you already wanted the item, can afford it, and know that what you’re paying now is much lower than the going rate typically is.

The deal on the trip to Paris that I got is a good example of that. Paris has been on my (admittedly huge) list of places I want to go since I was 18 years old, I’d been passively searching for a great deal for two years by having an alert set for fares to Paris, and I knew a great deal when I saw it based on those years of alerts.

But other sales? Not so much.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to go and check out — my husband and I have hit up a nearby store that’s going out of business three Friday’s in a row now, but we haven’t bought anything.

First, the deals aren’t all that good compared with the deals you could have gotten before they were going out of business. Second, we don’t really want or need anything from there. There’s maybe one thing I’d consider buying (an air hockey table) if it makes it to at least 70% off, but even then I’m not sure since we don’t really have room for it. Third, I haven’t investigated pricing on anything because there’s nothing I particularly want. And that’s typical of many sales.

It’s fun to poke around, but if you aren’t careful, doing so can get you into trouble — or fill up your house with things you don’t need and won’t use. So avoid sales for the sake of sales, but by all means actively look for them — and ask for deals — when you’ve do have something in particular in mind.


  • Kim

    I won’t do sales either. I don’t do before Christmas or after Christmas. I just avoid stores period, unless I need something specific. I am so excited about your trip!!

    • I do sales if I’m looking for something specific, but that’s pretty much the only time I actually buy. I’m excited about the trip too :)

  • I too do not do sales, but in my mind I do have a list of things that I want. I often go to eBay to see if it available at a price I like. Or I often will go to car boot sales and flea markets. These places often have things that I want at a very reduced rate.

    However, it is tempting to come home with more than you went out for!!