I love deal sites that have flash sales. I don’t know what it is, but I find myself logging onto a few of the sites every day. My personal favorites are Zulily, One Kings Lane and Joss & Main. Lots of variety, and when it comes to the latter two sites, lots of things that are super expensive that I won’t actually buy.
But are these deals really deals?
Logging into Zulily right now, I can see a two-piece entryway set that apparently retails for $529, but it’s on the site for $349.
Thankfully, this is an item that gives me a brand name and some descriptive words, so I can check it in Google. Target has it for $529. So that retail price is accurate. It’s also $383 on Amazon and $399 on a number of different sites. So $349 does look like a pretty good sale, especially since Zulily is a reputable source. But you’re not really saving $180. Amazon is a good site that I trust, and I would shop for something like this there, so if I bought it from Zulily, I would only be saving $34. Again, if it’s something I want and will use, maybe it’s worth it.
But often, these deal sites just lead to impulse purchases. After all, the sales won’t last forever and the items offered are limited. Quick! Buy now!
That said, they’re fun to check out. I’ve bought a number of things. A cabinet I was lusting after went on sale at One Kings Lane. Perfect! I had been wanting to buy it and hadn’t found a cheaper replacement. The brand of bra I wear is occasionally featured on Zulily, so I have bought a number of bras when they go on sale. I also use it to pick up items for Christmas gifts. I’m a fan of buying holiday gifts throughout the year rather than waiting until Christmas, so when I see something great, I do a quick search to check prices and then occasionally buy.
But make sure that you do that quick search. See what you can find out about the item. Don’t just believe the retail price. After all, sites like this want you to believe that you’re saving a ton of money so that you buy and keep coming back to purchase more. Shop smart and make the deals work for you.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.