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| Education and Financial

12/15/14

Sloppy shopping: Why holiday breeds bad decision as it relates to buying

Let's face it, the holidays are, in a word, "hectic."
What makes things worse is that craziness comes in a variety of forms: shopping, parties, mall traffic, in store crowds or just trying to balance life and everything else this time of year throws at you.
The shopping, in particular, is shoulder to shoulder, bumping into one person after another at the mall or retailer, but even those jammed check out lines and aisles isn't enough to justify the bad decision you'll be making as you continue to make purchases that, if you're smart, you'll question almost immediately after you've handed over that cash or swiped that debit or credit card.
Retailers flood the market with advertisements and marketing that lures consumers into thinking that every "can't miss" or "last minute" deal is one that they absolutely have to pounce on, regardless if the need for the product is there or not.
Mistakes can easily be made by shoppers regardless of how adept or smart they believe they are as far as spending money wisely this time of year. To the credit of the advertising departments and agencies employed by the heavy hitting holiday retailers like Best Buy, Targer or Wal Mart, they're very good at what they when it comes to highlighting the products that are on sale and the ones, ultimately, they want to sale more so than others.

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But as a consumer, you have to rise about the glossy print and large fonts and not fall in love with and buy something that, quite frankly, you don't really need. For example, if you have someone on your wish list that wants a new printer, then by all means shop for the best priced printer on the market. But some shoppers that have no need for a printer, even if they're one of the many people who use the aggressive holiday pricing to buy something for themselves, still will buy one just because it is on sale.
And no, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever, in case you're thinking about how to justify that type of buying decision. But, that is one of the many missteps holiday shoppers make this time of year.
Another huge oversight the general public falls prey to this time of year is relying too much on convenience. What does that mean, exactly? Well, for starters, they'll tend to shop at a one stop shopping place without taking time to price check with another store on even online. Granted, convenience certainly plays a huge role in holiday shopping, but when it comes to saving money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, why not at least look into lower costs somewhere else or inquire about a price match?
You'd be surprised to find out that a majority of customers simply plant their proverbial flag at one location, get their shopping done and lose money in the process. To be fair, a lot of that process is done by procrastinating shoppers who are trying to fill out a list in the last minute.
Certainly planning plays a role on smart holiday shopping, but so does patience and paying attention that original list you wrote and adhering to it without deviation, no matter how delectable a sale might be.

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