Avoid The Clearance Aisle Trap

In our house, my wife is certainly the one with the “shopping bug” as she loves to shop and I am happy to avoid even setting foot into a store for as long as possible.

Even though my wife does love to shop, I have to admit that she is very good about not spending money that is not allocated for spending and she has learned to be quite frugal in her shopping. However, her primary weakness is the clearance aisle!

Clearance Aisle Trap
When my wife returns home from a shopping trip with her bag of clearance treasures, she will usually show me things she purchased and be quite pleased with the price that she paid for the items. In most cases I cannot deny that the price she paid is an outstanding price for that item.

However, I usually ask her if we actually need that item and she indicates that we do not but she just couldn’t pass up that price. This is what I refer to as the clearance aisle trap!

Even though you may know that you really do not need an item, you fall victim to the attractive price and cannot pass up the bargain. When you do get caught in the clearance aisle trap, it is important to recognize that you are not really saving $x.xx on the purcase because if the item were not on clearance you would not have purchased it at all.

Good Deals
While the items that my wife usually purchases are not truly needs, she is usually planning ahead on the purchases for things that will be a need in the future but are not right now. As an example, my wife will usually find great deals on shoes and clothes for our kids but the sizes are currently too big for them.

Technically this is not a need because there is no value to the item at the present time. But with the rate that kids grow, more times than not the item is eventually a need. However, I wish this were always the case but there are times where a purchase never satisfies the classification of a need and thus we did not save anything by buying the item on clearance.

Be Wary Of The Trap
The next time you find yourself in the clearance aisle of the store, be sure to ask yourself if you really need the item and have an opportunity to save money or if you are buying the item simply because it is a great bargain.

By being aware of the trap, you will find that some purchases are not necessary and will give you an opportunity to really save money by leaving the item on the shelf. But when there is an immediate or future need for the item, you will recognize the value and put yourself in a position to save a little money.

Do you fall victim to the clearance aisle trap? Please share your experiences and/or tips for the clearance aisle!

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9 Responses

  1. Aimee says:

    I’m like this in the dollar store. I go in because it’s so cheap and I come out with $50 worth of stuff that I don’t need.

    • mnc says:

      It’s funny sometimes to look at how a cheap price can easily convince you to buy something that you really do not need. But when you add up a handful of cheap items, you usually end up with an expensive pile of junk.

  2. Tejas says:

    I still have 100 CD sleeves which I bought for 0$ after MIR. I haven’t used a single one of them.


    • mnc says:

      Lol, I had bought two 100 count jewel cases when they were buy one get one free and I have only made a small dent in them so far.

  3. Derrich says:

    Guilty. Particularly when it comes to electronics. 😛

  4. Sometimes we’ll buy from the clearance rack only to learn why a product was put there in the first place. I made the mistake of purchasing a pair of khaki’s for work that had the word “poopstain” written in tiny blue letters on the bottom of the left pocket. The store wouldn’t let me return the pants because they were on clearance, and had been altered.

    • mnc says:

      Lol – for some reason that reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where George cannot return the book because it has been “flagged”.

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