Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now Green Monday? It’s being billed as Cyber Monday II, but it really just shows how desperate retailers are to get you shopping. They’re creating more and more shopping “holidays” to convince you that right now is the time to buy. You’ll never find better holiday deals than today! At least until next week.
I’ve been bargain-hunting for most of my life and reporting on deals for more than 10 years. In that time, I’ve seen deals come and go, hot coupons expire and give way to even hotter coupons, and “lowest price ever” be lowered again the next week. What I’ve learned is simple — there’s always another deal.
So before you spend a dime on Green Monday (or any other made-up, retail event), ask yourself a few questions to be sure those holiday deals are worth it.
Here are 7 questions to ask before you start buying holiday deals: 1 of 8
Does it get good reviews? 2 of 8
Check for consumer reviews to be sure the purchase is really worth it. Amazon's customer reviews are especially useful because you can sort by star-rating to read why someone gave it a particular score. It is also helpful for learning about known issues or additional features before you buy.
Are there additional costs? 3 of 8
Will you have to pay for shipping & handling, delivery, or installation? Is there an additional fee for assembly? Does it require additional purchases such as batteries, cables, or accessories? Be sure to include any of these added costs in the price.
Photo Credit: Flickr User: Images of Money
Can I find a lower price? 4 of 8
Phrases like "Lowest price of the season!" and "Our best deal ever!" are designed to make you think right now is the time to buy. However, it is often just the start of lowering prices, and you may find a better deal as we get closer to Christmas. It also doesn't say anything about their competitors. Check Amazon and other local retailers to compare prices before you buy.
Photo Credit: Flickr user: lordcolus
Do I have the money budgeted? 5 of 8
Stopping at just "Do I have the money?" isn't good enough if that money is earmarked for groceries, household expenses, or another holiday gift. Be careful that your deal purchases don't cause you to spend money you shouldn't. Instead, use the deals to keep your holiday purchases under budget.
Photo Credit: 401K Calculator
Do I have room for it? 6 of 8
Do you actually have somewhere for this in your house, or will it end up in storage in a few months? If it is a holiday gift, do you have room to store (or hide!) it until the big day? If not, you might consider saving your purchase until closer to Christmas.
Photo Credit: Flickr user: meatheadmovers
Will it arrive on time? 7 of 8
If you are ordering online, check for shipping estimates and guarantees. There is nothing more frustrating than needing to buy a last minute gift because your order didn't arrive in time.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Do I need it? 8 of 8
Is this something on a child's wishlist? Do you know exactly who would love the item? Is it something you need for the home? If it just caught your eye because it's at a really great price, it's probably not a good idea. That's a scary downward slope that you want to keep your money away from.
More on Babble.com:
Why I’m Not Shopping on Cyber Monday (Or Green Monday)