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When is a Deal Not a Deal

by helenonthesofa (follow)
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Sometimes a deal or special offer, whilst looking mightily attractive, might not actually result in an actual saving. Here are a few pointers to help you question your purchases so that you don't fall into the trap of handing over your money for a deal that's not really a good deal.

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Photo: Clarita, Morguefile.com

1. When it's too good to be true
When a deal is too good to be true, it often is. Look out for the fine print and try to find out if there are any hidden fees or charges.

2. When you get stung by exhorbitant postage fees
If an item is priced extremely low but you end up paying huge postage and handling fees then you need to consider looking at the total price of the item. A great price is no longer a great price when you are paying almost as much for postage as for the product itself.

3. When free comes with a fee
Freebies and free samples are not typically free when you have to hand over your credit card details. A company offering you a freebie should not need your credit card details and steer clear of scams that ask for this type of personal information.

4. Free trial periods
There are some great products out there where you can try an item for free. However, there are also a lot of scams out there that say that you can try an item for free, but also lock you in for a contract so whilst your first month is free, the rest of the year is not. Be very wary of signing up to any contract when you are not sure about the product.

5. When you just don't need it
Sale prices and huge discounts can convince us to buy products that we truly don't need and this excess spending can play havoc with your household budget. The green polka dot jacket that's got 75% off and priced at a steal of $50 might be an absolute bargain, but this is not a great deal if you don't need a green polka dot jacket, or if you buy the item and then don't actually wear it. Try to think about what you actually need and aim to not be swayed by enticing discounts and deals. On food products be cautious on buying heavily reduced items that have a super quick expiry date. Wasted food that ends up in the bin is not a bargain.

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Beautiful article. Addendum to the "Free trial periods":
(1) When you can sign-up for a 1-month free trial period but the seller records your credit card details and assures you that they'll not charge you for the period after the 1st month unless you explicitly state that you want to continue..
(2) When this seller or any other states in fine print that the buyer must contact the seller 'n' number of days before renewal is due in order to cancel subscription explicitly via e-mail and where phone calls may not be held accountable etc etc.. + a plethora of conditions to suit the buyers' inconvenience!
Don't even touch these guys with a bargepole.. it's an accident waiting to happen. And not to mention of credit card frauds because such firms do not always have a tight seal on your personal and banking data.
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