I went to the mall today with my girl friend; she wanted to get an everyday coat and needed my help with choice. We found the ideal coat at a great price. The coat was marked down from $278.00 to $119.00 plus as a bonus you would be given a gift card worth $25.00.
We went to the cashier to pay for the coat, the sale price went on just as it was listed on the flyer, then the clerk told my friend if you use our credit card you will receive an additional 10% off to which my friend declined. The clerk was so intent on getting my friend to use the department store’s credit card; she forgot to give her the $25.00 gift card which was part of the promotion. My friend reminded the store clerk that the advertise price came with a gift card. The sale clerk who obviously had not been briefed by her manager did not know about the additional gift card. After she checked with her manager the card was given to my friend. My friend wanted the gift card and needed to shop from one more items where the card would make a difference so it was important to her to get the card. The clerk’s goal was to encourage my friend to charge her purchase and naturally to use her store’s credit card. Do not get caught in that 10% trap, it is not worth the years it will take you to pay off that purchase.
I am not a big supporter of gift cards given after purchases, they usually come with conditions and some of those conditions mean you will have to spend more money on a purchase in that store and only on certain items. If you are not a wise shopper you could end up spending much more than you anticipated just to get the additional discount.
The Holiday season is just around the corner and the stores are ready and waiting for us to show up to make our purchases. They are ready and willing to help you find that special gift. If you have chosen to make your purchases at the last minute be aware of what is on sale and what you are really getting for your money. Read the advertisement and bring a copy with you just in case. The clerks are busy and they have quotas, so you are on your own. You have to be a smart shopper. Do not let the sounds, smells and the crowds get you to make some decisions you will regret in January and February when the credit card bills show up in your mail box.
It would be best if you could make a list of the people for whom you have to purchase gifts and have an amount set for each person. I use a small note-book to write my Christmas list in, with the names and the amount I want to spend on that particular person. You should carry the list with you whenever you are going out of the house. If you see something you think would be a great gift for uncle Harry and aunt Lucy, pull out your list and see exactly what you intended to spend on their gifts. It is never a good idea to have set a price for a gift and just because you did not have your list, you made a purchase way above what you had priced on your list.
If you do your shopping in November, give yourself a date when you want to be done with your Christmas shopping, do not let it drag into the week of Christmas, if you do, you will purchasing way above your means. Avoid the stores on the weekends you will find hundreds of people all doing their Christmas shopping and you will not be able to get the attention of the clerks if you need their help. If you are going into a big mall with lots of stores wear a light coat something that will not drag you down. Also take your weekend purse which you can sling across your body with just the items you will need, do not carry a heavy purse it will only get heavier over time. Be aware of your surroundings the purse snatchers are out doing what they can do best which is to take your money and important things away from you. If you find that you are loaded down with parcels and bags make a trip to the car to drop some of your purchases off, also when doing so do not leave purchases on the seats of the car, place them in the trunk or cover them over with a blanket so that they cannot be seen by someone looking into your car. Lastly make sure you have locked your car and your keys are safely in your purse. When you get home from shopping put all your receipts in a shoebox or a large zip lock bag you may need them in a few weeks.
I hope this will help you make your Christmas or Holiday shopping much easier and safer.
Have a Happy Holiday