You get an email in your inbox. Oh! It’s from BestPlaceEver for a whopping 30% off everything in the store until 9pm tonight! But it’s already 8pm, oh no—you’ve REALLY been wanting that gold-plated unicorn horn sculpture made by ancient Unicornians for weeks, but it’s been slightly out of your price range. It’s been a little cheaper on Amazon.com than on BestPlaceEver.com, but definitely not 30% off! Time to buy it, right?
Nope! Companies are great at trying to make you buy things now now now! That’s American capitalism—if we didn’t buy things our whole economy would collapse! But that doesn’t mean YOU need to be throwing your money at a business every time you get an email. Take a moment to do the math before tossing items in your digital shopping cart.
Let’s say that Amazon.com has your gold-plated unicorn horn sculpture for $29.98 with free shipping. BestPlaceEver has the gold-plated unicorn horn sculpture for $25.99 after the 30% off is applied. Yay! But wait—shipping from BestPlaceEver is $5, and tax adds on another $2, bringing the real price up to $32.99. It’s actually still cheaper to get it from Amazon after all.
It may sound like a pain having to cross-check deals on different websites when you see a sale you really want to jump on. However, if you’d like to save every penny you can, it is a necessity. I can’t believe how many times I have added sale items to an online shopping cart, only to discover that after shipping and taxes, it’d just be cheaper to buy it in person—or at regular price at a different site with free shipping. Online shopping certainly has its place, and I have bought many things I wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise (and I have, of course, saved my own skin by emailing an e-gift card to birthday recipients at the very last minute!). Just make sure to consider if the “sale” is truly a sale or not.
Spread The Word!