The truth about discounted items

Over the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed numerous mega sale events by various retailers, both online and brick and mortar stores. Remember Black Friday, and then there was that Christmas sales, and post-Christmas sales? And now, Chinese New Year sales…

These sales just seem endless.

Well in hindsight, sales seem to be the new norm. Every now and then, you will see a retailer displaying that bright red sign in their store, or even for online stores, it is hardly unusual to find items on sale.

In addition, we have seen loads of stories circulating on the internet of how hoards of people will start queuing at least a few days in advance to purchase some limited edition or hugely discounted item.

Alright I get the point. It’s massively mark-down. And you need to buy it.

But I do wonder, what about the time that is spent to queue for these items. Time is money. And unfortunately, this is something that not a lot of people quantify for. Those precious number of hours that you waited outside the store, you might think that it’s alright because it’s a weekend or you took a day off to queue for it but hey, never discount that precious few hours of your life that you randomly spent. You can never earn them back again!

But wait, what of the discounted items? Isn’t it great that the items are on discount? It means that we could potentially reap huge savings!!!! Isn’t that great?

Well, it really depends.

 We are too fixated on the amount saved rather than the amount spent.

For example,  there is a TV set which original cost $1000. During a sale, it was marked down to $500! A whopping $500 savings! That’s a lot right??? I mean if I were to use my real hourly wage to calculate, that essentially means less work hours require to purchase that!

At first glance, that would seem the case. Yes a $500 savings! It wires the mind to make us want to buy it because it seems like such a good purchase.

However, you forgot to note that even though it’s a $500 savings, it is also a $500 expense.

If the TV set might have been something that you budgeted for from the beginning, it could be a good purchase.

More often than not, discounted items are purely impulse purchases. This is cheap henceforth  I buy it.

But at the end of the day, ask yourself if you really need it? My guess is no. And what happens to that item? Lying somewhere idle in the house, or in storage, and eventually, you forget about it.





  1. Excellent point! Thanks for sharing..totally agree!


  2. Totally agree. I keep a shopping list of things I need (things that need to be replaced etc), if the thing on sale is on the list great, if not then I don’t buy it. It is really hard to resist impulse “bargains”, but this has really helped me.


    1. Oh yes I totally agree! It;s really tough sometimes, when you see an item on sale and there’s that impulse to get it. But like yourself, I try to stick to my shopping list too, and quickly get out of the store once I have consolidated all the required items.

      Liked by 1 person

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