You may wonder how your friend always gets the best deals. Shopping for deals, clearance, and the best sales may be something that doesn’t come naturally to you. Even if that describes you, it is possible to learn how to be a savvy shopper. Here are 20 things smart shoppers don’t do.
1. They don’t rush into a sale that appears to be too good.
If something appears too good, it usually is. Smart shoppers would not rush into a purchase or contract because it is too good to pass up. They would take the time to figure out if it is a legitimate sale or deal. There are a lot of legitimate sales and even freebies out there, but it’s important to read the fine print and understand the terms so you can make sure you don’t end up getting charged even more on the back end.
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2. They don’t forget to take advantage of free smartphone apps that reward for shopping.
3. They don’t forget to join and use cash back websites when shopping online.
They don’t forget about the online cash back websites. They are free to join and you actually get money back on purchases you would make anyway.
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4. They don’t buy without testing a big purchase, like a used car.
Smart shoppers don’t buy without test driving a car, or really any big purchase. You want to be sure that the item is worth the money that you are going to pay for it. You also want to be sure that it is going to last and not break down. There are a lot of great websites online that have reviews and comparisons on larger ticket items, you can also ask a car dealership if you can test drive a car over the weekend to decide if it’s right for you.
5. They don’t buy without having it checked by a professional.
They don’t buy without taking it to the professional or having the professional come and test it out. For example taking the used car to your mechanic before you buy it or having a thorough inspection first.
6. They don’t forget to check references.
They don’t forget to actually call and check references. This is extremely important when you are hiring someone to complete a job for you. For example, a smart shopper would not hire a contractor to gut and rebuild them a new kitchen without seeing the work they have previously done. This has to be done in person so you can talk to the previous clients to ensure their work is top notch.
7. They don’t forget to use coupons.
They don’t forget to clip, organize and use their coupons. There are even online coupons that you can clip and use in the store on your smartphone. Every little bit you save on items you need to buy helps you stretch your dollar farther.
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8. They don’t forget to shop in the peak seasons.
They don’t rush out and buy something without considering and waiting for the best season to buy. There are times of the year that are better for many different types of purchases. For example, they plan ahead for items they will need during the next year and grab them during Black Friday or cyber Monday, after thanksgiving.
9. They don’t skip reading customer reviews.
They don’t skip reading customer reviews, especially from websites that verify the purchase of the customer doing the review. Keep in mind that customer reviews aren’t always honest or legitimate but reading all or many of the reviews, as part of your decision is important because you may spot a trend or find out a product won’t work for you. I even sometimes peek at the reviews on Amazon before making a purchase even if that’s not where I’m buying the item.
10. They don’t buy cheap stuff.
They don’t buy items that are cheap because it may be a better investment to wait and save to buy something that will last much longer. If you end up buying three or four times the amount because it breaks down faster it is not the better deal. I love to invest in good quality clothing that I love, this saves me so much in the long run because I’m not constantly purchasing little things or things that don’t fit or won’t last.
11. They don’t impulse buy.
They don’t impulse buy. Most of the time it is something you don’t really need and you don’t use. Smart shoppers know that making a list and sticking to it is the better way to shop. My rule is that I normally add it to a list and wait till the next time I’m in a store, if I still want or need it then at that point it’s not an impulse purchase.
HINT: Impulse purchasing can also happen online, so be aware! It’s so easy to push those buttons and “buy” Something without realizing what you are spending or planning for the purchase.
12. They don’t buy something they don’t need just because it’s on sale.
Most everyone has done this at one time or another. Smart shoppers learn that buying something they don’t need just because it’s on sale is not really saving them money. This is even true in couponing, if an item is $0.50 and you don’t really need it but you still purchase 4 or 6 of the item, you’re actually spending money, not saving it!
13. They aren’t afraid to say no.
Smart shoppers aren’t afraid to say no to salespeople especially if they are not planning on buying that item or service. You can end up signing up for a service or buying a product that doesn’t help you. Don’t get talked into things you don’t want or need.
14. They don’t buy with credit that they cannot pay that month.
Smart shoppers don’t buy with credit that they cannot pay that month because interest really does add up. You can end up paying two or three times the amount of an item because of interest that accumulates for a long time.
15. They don’t forget to stick to their budget.
This is important to not spend more than you can afford. Smart shoppers know that they need to make a budget, have a plan and stick to it.
16. They don’t drive all over town to buy at different stores without planning a schedule first.
They don’t drive all over town to buy at different stores because the gas and usage on your vehicle starts to add up. If you make a plan and schedule which stores you are going to shop at you can save gas and extra running around. It’s also important to shop with a list and have a plan before you hit the stores, planning your trip carefully can save you money!
17. They don’t forget to check the clearance rack first.
They don’t forget to go to the clearance rack before looking at the regular priced items. You can save a lot of money shopping on the clearance racks. Shopping off season or at the end of the season for next year is a great way to save!
18. They aren’t afraid to buy from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets or online.
They aren’t afraid to buy from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets or used online. They make sure that the item works and free of defects first, but they can save a lot of money shopping used.
19. They don’t make a purchase without researching to find the best deals.
Smart shoppers check for sales and research to find the best deals. A lot of stores even price match so if you find something for sale at another store you can still get it for that price.
It’s not only important to look for the best deal, but also to
20. They don’t skip reading the fine print.
They always read the fine print to find out if the deal is really a good deal. Some deals come with monthly membership shipments that you have to cancel or you will owe if you don’t send it back. Smart shoppers know what the terms of the contract are before they sign.
TIP: If you’re signing up for a Free Trial Offer make sure you add the date to cancel to your calendar and then add a note to cancel a few days or weeks early so you don’t forget! I often add 2-3 reminders so that I don’t have to worry about forgetting!
Learning what smart shoppers don’t do is an important aspect to consider. If you are making a large purchase it is very important to know and keep in mind. You can become a smart shopper if you are willing to put in the effort and make every purchase carefully.