What Does That Mean?

by Lori Sciame | September 12th, 2011 | Shopping Secrets

Shopping for budget items can be confusing, as there may be terms associated with items for sale that you have never heard of before. If you love a good bargain as much as I do, you look for terms such as clearance, white sale, and going out of business sale; however, do you really understand what these terms mean? Check out this article for information on budget shopping terms and their definitions.

So the term, sale, catches your eye? It does mine too, yet do you know exactly what it means? Sale means that you will be able to buy selected items at reduced prices. There are many types of sales, including:

Fire sale – items supposedly in a fire or when a seller is facing bankruptcy.
White sale – sale on household linens.
Clearance sale – sale to reduce inventory.
Going out of business sale – a sale of all of assets, including stock and even shelving.

You need to be careful, though, as some business will misuse these terms to entice you into the store. For example, you may see a sign in the window of a furniture store that says, store closing. You immediately think that you will be able to buy that new couch at a great price, so you enter the business, and begin looking at what’s available. Upon further investigation, you realize that the sign seems quite old, like it has been hanging for a while…what gives? Then, in small print you see the words, for re-organization. In essence, this store used a tricky play on words to get you to stop, even though they really weren’t going out of business.

Another play on words has begun creeping into many stores. Have you seen the signs that read, 75% off? Many times I’ve been tricked by these placards that actually state in tiny lettering up to…as in Up to 75% off. Usually, only one or two items seem to be marked with the deep discount, while most of the others have been only marked down 20%.

Retailers rely on other terms/phrases as well:

Closeout – a sale of all remaining inventory of a certain item.
As is – the item is flawed in some respect, and when you purchase it, you agree to take it in the shape it is in at the moment.
All sales final – watch out; if you buy this item, you will not be able to return it for any reason.
Last chance – these words are more ambiguous, as I’ve seen them refer to expired food items, as well as seasonal clothing.
Special purchase – another phrase that can be murky…does it mean that the item is being offered at rock bottom prices, or does it just mean that you are lucky to be able to buy this special purchase?

Bargain hunters beware…understand the words that indicate reduced prices, but don’t be suckered in by how some retailers manipulate the words basically as a “bait and switch” sales technique.

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