Does buying things on sale pay off?

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It can be hard to resist flashing sale signs popping up online and at the stores, but it doesn’t always mean you are saving money when buying on sale?

With Prime Day behind us, Black Friday just around the corner and the Christmas shopping craze, it’s hard to avoid shopping malls and online retailers who are suddenly dropping their prices.

But this price drop is mostly benefiting the retailers and not us, the consumers.

“Especially with the pandemic right now, they are trying to attract customers to come back and buy,” Michelle Jasso, professor of Marketing at New Mexico State University, said about retailers trying to encourage customers to buy more products.

Special sales and sale events such as Prime Day create the perfect environment for consumers to buy, even the things they don’t need.

University of Texas at El Paso Professor of Marketing Frank Cabano explained this environment is established by creating a sense of urgency, so consumers feel like they need to buy — and buy it immediately.

“That’s why sale signs are generally in red because red is the color mentally associated with a sense of urgency and energy,” said Cabano, revealing why sale signs attract our attention.

These lowered prices often make us buy things we don’t need and because we think we’re actually saving money.

But both professors explain the opposite is true. By buying things we don’t need, we are actually spending more money than we usually would.

Cabano said that one way to avoid that is to write a list of things we need and that we really want, to stay on track and not slip when sales season comes around.

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