Everything is always on sale seems like an exaggeration! If you are expecting to go to your local store and find absolutely everything on sale, you will be disappointed. Then again, you can find just about everything on sale somewhere. Online retailers are constantly discounting their products and there are always coupons for discounts and free shipping. I f you look, you can find everything on sale!
If you think this is a shopping guide, you will be disappointed! My parents taught me to shop wisely and get value from my purchases. I think it is a metaphor for life. I am the ultimate value shopper! I will not buy anything unless I can have a discount. How much is enough? Free shipping just puts it in line with retail stores and no sales tax is expected! A 25-50% discount is the norm for me. If I cannot achieve at least that level of discount, I generally won’t buy it.
This strategy does not apply to everything, although some level of discount is the goal of every purchase. Since I review every expense every month, I strive to keep my expenses low. If I can receive rebates and discounts on top of low prices, it is a win/win! Buying at the lowest price is not the objective unless it is something I want. I know that if I buy something at Tiffany, I will not get the lowest price. Instead I can rely on the quality image. For the record, I have never bought anything at Tiffany & Company.
For me Tiffany is for someone who does not have a jeweler who is trustworthy. Jewelry is a highly profitable commodity and you want someone who is honest and the products you want to buy. Similar to any choices in life, I prefer to find businesses that my friends use and frequent over the years. In other words referrals! There is no guarantee that their products and services are better than others, but they at least have a history of satisfying people over time.
When I bought my wife (then girlfriend) her engagement ring, I checked with my mother. She knew someone who had a sixty (60) year relationship with a jeweler in New York City. The referral was great, but I still had the ring appraised before I bought it. At the time, it was my biggest purchase and I never bought jewelry before. It was nearly two times my monthly salary at a discounted price. I think it required some extra effort! After moving to Los Angeles, I used the same criteria to find the best on a value basis.
When I bought my first house, I looked for a distressed sale. I found a home in a neighborhood; I want to live and looked for underpriced homes. The home I bought had about a twenty-five (25) percent discount. It needed some work, but is was mostly cosmetic. I removed the carpeting, refinished the hardwood floors, replaced the drapes and painted. It cost lot less than the money I saved. In less than four years, I sold it more than double! I also took over their below market mortgage to save even more.
Value is the amount of money something is worth. For me, value is what something is worth at a particular price. If I cannot purchase something at a discount, I question if it worth the price for me. In other words, I am willing to wait it goes on sale or I can get a better price. I cannot delay purchases on everything, but with a little planning, I can delay purchases. For example, I need seven pairs of bicycle shorts, but I will not pay retail for them. I need them for next summer and have eight (8) months to buy them.
There are times that all products go on sale. There is less demand for bicycle shorts in the middle of winter. I can usually buy them at a forty (40) percent discount in the middle of winter. Since, I am spending five (5) hundred dollars; I want to meet my criteria for value. I will buy them online and save the sales tax too. Even homes are on sale at certain times! Typically, there are more homes for sale during the spring so people can move over the summer. As a buyer, I buy when it is to my advantage.
Negotiation is the process between people to reach an agreement. Generally, it is an agreement of price and terms. I am willing to negotiate on anything. I have done it at retail stores when I have an advantage or something to exchange for a better price. After I lost a lot of weight (35-40 lbs.), I needed some new suits. Since I was buying five (5) suits at once, a raincoat and shirts and ties, I used the situation to negotiate. I managed to get better prices and even some things thrown in for free.
Everything is always on sale is something rich people understand very well. Rich people watch their money better than most. Just because you earn millions of dollars a year does not mean they just spend it lavishly. They want value for their money too. Just ask a rich person about their last large purchase and you will find out. About ten (10) years ago, I bought a large screen TV and saved 40%! It was not on sale, but the sales person said they would price match. I spent just a few minutes on the internet and saved!
Most people do not negotiate or look for the lowest prices because it takes more time. Time is money, but I saved a thousand dollars in less than ten (10) minutes. If you can plan some of these big purchases, you can save a great deal of money. I cannot plan 100% of my purchases, but I can plan about 98%. The rest may not matter, but I can control even that many of those too. It is up to you to get the most value from your purchases because everything is always on sale!
Photo by: Flickr
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