You’ve seen the sales tactic buy two and get the third half off. The author finds out the hard way what this actually means in terms of money spent.

How to Say “No” to Sales

How to Say “No” to Sales

CEE Standard: Buying Goods and Services

Just because something is on sale does not give students a free pass to blow their budget. Help them learn that sometimes you still have to say no, even when something is on sale.

Ever made a purchase that you shouldn't have just because something was on 'sale'? Let your students know that they aren't alone — and they have the power to say "no thanks!"A while back, mom and I went with a friend to see a movie on a Friday morning before noon so that the tickets would be only $6.

It is so much better to go early in the day when you can get in for less than half the normal ticket price. After the movie, we stayed at the mall to eat lunch in the food court.

I really don’t go to the mall that much, but when I do, I enjoy looking around at Claire’s. So I decided to walk over there for a few minutes just to look.

Downward Spiral

When I got to the store, I entered some swirling vortex of craziness and lost my mind — probably because I got distracted by all the sparkling items in the store.

Next thing I knew, I had two items in my hands and was at the cash register. The lady told me that I could pick out the third item and it would be only half price. Sounded good to me! (First mistake.)

There was a large collection of earrings I had been eyeing. So I went over and grabbed it thinking it would be only half price. (My second mistake.) I paid the lady with my debit card and didn’t even think to look at how much the total cost was. (Mistake number three.)

I happily joined my mom and our friend back at the food court to show them all the super cute stuff I got. It was at this time that I happened to glance at the receipt — for $24! I could have died. And that’s when the cold shame of buyer’s remorse swept over me.

I could not believe that I had spent $24 at Claire’s. I had no intention of spending that much. I didn’t have any intention of spending anything at all! But I did and I felt sick. And to make matters worse, mom laughed at me!

Making Tough Decisions

After she stopped laughing, she reminded me that I could always walk back down there and return one or more of the items. I immediately went back to make the return. I decided to keep the first two items and return the third that I had picked out.

The lady at Claire’s was great and made the return without any problems. I felt much better knowing that the money was safely back in my bank account where it belonged.

It turned out to be a wonderful day. Mom and I found some really good deals at Loft and got ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery with a gift card we had.

I definitely learned my lesson. I realized what happened was that I thought the third item I got, which was the most expensive item, was going to be the one that was half price.

But that’s not how it works: The item that is the least expensive is the one that is half off. Another thing to watch for is the total when you use your debit card. It’s so easy to just swipe that card and have no idea how much you are really spending.

Check List

  • Do you set a budget for yourself when you go shopping?
  • Have you ever experienced buyer’s remorse? What did you do?
  • Do you have a system to save receipts in case you need to make a return?
  • Are you good at saying no when you spot a good deal if you don’t really need the item?