Are you a deal hunter? Are you the kind of person who signs up for online discounts and coupons? Do you perhaps hold a membership to one of the clubs that supply products in bulk? Costco? Do you therefore consider yourself a savvy super saver because everything you purchase is discounted? Well, you may be deceiving yourself. And, as if that’s not enough, similar discounting clubs are moving online…
If you’re using social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter (and even if you are not), it’s almost impossible to avoid adverts from online group buying sites such as Groupon, Living Social, etc. These websites promise businesses an incredibly high volume of customers and in return the customers get a huge discount on the offered product, usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 – 90% off. Are there real benefits here? Or is it a fad that’s bound to stretch consumer spending on things that they do not really need or more importantly that they cannot afford?
According to an article in the Globe and Mail, “Is buying in bulk worth it?” some of the traps in bulk buying include:
- Impulse buying of items that you don’t really need.
- Purchasing perishable items in bulk that are likely to go to waste.
- The price per unit is not always cheaper when buying in bulk hence there are no real benefits in some cases.
To avoid getting into a financial ditch in the name of super savings, here are some proven bulk buying tips that will keep you financially grounded while giving you the savings that you want:
Five Tips to Help You Become a Savvy Bulk-Buyer
- Plan, plan, plan.
Have a written list of items you need (do not included items that you want). If you see an exceptional bargain on an item that is not something that you need, then put it on a “wish list” for a few days and see if it still holds a strong bargaining power on your wallet, then reconsider buying it.
- Review the price per unit.
When determining if a bulk buy is worth the money, calculate the price per unit. There may be no real benefits for a larger pack size, just a visual tease on perceived benefits.
- Avoid using your credit card for bulk purchases.
Do not make bulk purchases on your credit card in a warehouse store or on an online bulk-buying site if you cannot pay off the balance at the end of the month. The interest rates on the money owing will negate any savings you’ve received due to lower prices.
- Treasure your rebate cheques and loyalty rewards.
When your annual rebates or rewards arrive from your credit card or loyalty cards, avoid rushing out and spending the money or points on unnecessary purchases.
- Introduce a bulk buddy system.
Purchase a membership to a warehouse store, an online bulk-buying site, etc. and split it two ways or more. Also, split your purchases, especially if they are perishable, as this could save you unnecessary waste.
Keep your super-saver habits but most importantly ensure that you are actually saving from bulk purchases that you make and not inadvertently heading to the poor house.