Deals of the day sites – Avoiding impulse shopping

By glblguy


I received an interesting comment on my Deals of the day sites article I wrote that said:

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to clear my box of these tantalizing offers.

The comment made me wonder how many people buy items from deals of the day sites on impulse…probably a bunch. I’m not much of an impulse shopper anymore, but I certainly used to be. I thought I’d share a few tips on how to use these sites to your advantage without wasting money on items you don’t need.

Keep a list

Whenever I find that there is an item I’d like to have I add it to a list I keep in Evernote (I’ll be writing about Evernote soon). These aren’t things I need right away, and frankly some of them aren’t even things I really need but just things I’d like to have. Items on my list right now include things like: 8GB SD card for my camera, printer/fax/scanner combo device for my office, iPod, a Moleskin, etc.

Each morning while I am waking up and waiting for my brain to kick in, I check Deal of the day tracker and specifically look for items on my list. If it’s not on my list I don’t buy it. Trust me, I’ve been tempted a few times, but I set rules and boundaries for myself.

Allocate a budget item

I have a line item in my budget for my personal spending. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t, but it’s money set aside for things like want/need. If I don’t use it, it either rolls into another budget category if needed, usually to pay down on our debt.

Another option is to allocate budget for it, and if it shows up on a deal of the day site, buy it if not than just do your best Googling and buy it from a normal retailer at the best price. This would obviously be on more non-discretionary items like the fax/printer/scanner device I really need for work.

Don’t buy right away

At this point some of you are saying: But, what if it’s not on my list, but it’s an incredible deal and something I would really use?? Assuming you have money in your budget for it, here’s what I would suggest: Wait. Check the Deals of the day sites in the morning and if you see something and have convinced yourself to buy it, walk away. Come back a few hours later after you’ve had time to think through it and evaluate whether you really want to spend the money. If you’re still convinced AND you have the money in your budget, than go ahead. Sure, you’ll risk possibly missing out on it, but they’ll be another one.

What tips do you have for using deals of the day sites? How do you guys avoid impulse buying on these sites? Share your tips!

Photo by: sfllaw

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Deals of the day sites – Avoiding impulse shopping”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Oh, yeah… there are definitely those moments where I argue with myself over these deals. “wow, that’s a great deal. I gotta get that.”
    “But do I really need it. I mean, I’ve gotten along without it for this long.”
    “Yeah, but come on! I would definitely use that! And I’m not going to find it anywhere cheaper than this.”
    “Okay, but wouldn’t it be better to put that money towards paying off the debt.”
    “Yeah, but…”
    And it goes on like that for approximately 24 hours, and then the deal is gone. 99% of the time, I haven’t bought it.

    But then, as I mentioned in my own blog recently, sometimes I do buy it and 2 days later a very similar item pops up even cheaper, which is a whole different kind of frustration.

  2. Craig Says:

    Just because there is a deal doesn’t mean you have to buy. It’s more about training your mentality to not buy things. For example I enjoy dvd’s and always get suckered into buying movies that are on sale that I really have no need for, or will even watch. I have done a better job of training myself to not go for those impulse buys. Just takes patience. What do you think?

  3. Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech (Student) Says:

    Mmmm, I’m dreaming of how many pictures I could take if I had an 8 GB card for my camera (provided my camera could handle such a card, and I don’t think it could). I could snap photos for hours before I needed to empty the card…

    Anyway, Craig mentioned something I have to tell myself often – “Just because there is a deal doesn’t mean you have to buy”. We were grocery shopping the other night and pasta sauce was $1/jar. $1/jar! I wanted to buy some. Hubby said no, because we already had 8 jars of pasta sauce at home. But it was sooo hard to pass up $1 pasta sauce.

  4. John Says:

    It would be great if our nation could learn this lesson, as no one on Capitol Hill (save a select few) seems to realize that these debts will only come back to haunt us.