How do you decide if the deal is real? Here are some tips to help you get the most for your money.

  • Shop around. A “sale” price isn’t always the “best” price. Some merchants may offer a sale price on the item you want for a limited time; other merchants may offer items at a discount everyday.

  • Read sale ads carefully. Some ads may say “quantities limited,” “no rain checks,” or “not available at all stores.” Before you step out the door, call to make sure the item you want is in stock.

  • Consider your time and travel costs. If an item is on sale, but the store is across town, include your time and the costs of transportation and parking in the price.

  • Look for price-matching policies. Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices.

  • Go online. Check out websites that compare prices. If you decide to buy from an online merchant, keep shipping costs and delivery time in mind.

  • Carefully consider bargain offers that are based on purchases of additional merchandise. For example, “Buy One, Get One Free” or “Free Gift with Purchase.” If you don’t really want or need the item, it’s not a deal.

  • Clip coupons. Coupons are useful when they save you money on what you’re already planning to buy. Check coupons for any restrictions. For example, do expiration dates apply, or do you have to spend a certain amount before you can use the coupon? Some retailers will accept expired coupons, and even coupons from their competitors. Check with the retailer before you leave home to learn their policy.

  • Ask about sale adjustments. If you buy an item at regular price and it goes on sale the next week, can you get a credit or refund for the discounted amount?



Five Best Sites for Coupon Clippers:

Coupons.com
CouponCabin.com
CouponMom.com
RetailMeNot.com
SmartSource.com



Information Courtesy of:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Action
Federal Citizen Information Center



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