13 August 2013

When is a Special Offer Not Worth Having?

Guest post by Elaine McPartland*

When we hear the words 'special offer' it is natural instinct for our ears to prick up, as we naturally want to be able to bag a bargain. However, all too often we focus too much on the fact that there is a special offer and not on whether the thing that is on special offer is something that we want or need.

In general, if you had no plans to buy something at regular price then the chances are that you could do without buying it when on special offer. Special offers are designed to save you money on the cost of items you plan to purchase. However, if you are purchasing items just because they are on special offer, you are actually spending money that would otherwise be safely in your wallet or bank.

Some 'special offers' that are not always worth having include:


The BOGOF or buy one get one free offer has become very popular, particularly in supermarkets. When people are shopping and they see something that is on BOGOF they instantly think they've bagged themselves a bargain. However, if that item was never on your shopping list in the first place then it is the supermarket that has gained and not you.

Store card discounts

Many retailers who offer store cards try to entice customers by offering an instant discount on any purchases they are making as long as they sign up to and are accepted for a store card. However, these cards are notorious for getting people into debt and the interest rates charged are high. Many have had to seek professional advice from places such as Consolidated Credit after getting into debt with these cards.

Percentage off for one day only

A variety of retailers offer special 'one day only' discounts, where you are coerced into making an instant decision about a purchase through enticement. However, investigations have shown that some retailers actually increase the cost of items directly before putting them on sale, so the special offer price or discount is not actually all that it seems.

These are just a few of the special offers and deals that may seem great at first glance, but when you dig a little deeper they could be best avoided. 

* Elaine McPartland is a writer at Consolidated Credit. Drawing on her own past struggles with student debt, Elaine works with individuals to tackle their most challenging financial issues including debt. Check out more debt related topics by connecting with her on Google+.

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