When is a bargain not a bargain? | The First National Bank Blog

December 15th, 2015

christmas sweaterWriter Franklin Jones once said, “A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.” This seems especially true as shoppers find themselves caught up in the holiday gift buying rush. When faced with the prospect of not finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list, it’s easy to give in to impulse shopping. But before you buy your niece that bedazzled selfie stick and matching phone case, take a step back and consider the following:

How will the recipient really react to your gift?

Here’s the scene: You hand a beautifully wrapped box to your mother-in-law. She opens it and pulls out a festive holiday scarf you picked up for next to nothing. She smiles politely and says, “This is too nice to wear. I’ll just save this.” She then sets the scarf aside and saves the wrapping paper.

By imagining the recipient’s probable reaction to your bargain gift, you’re physically stopping to consider what that person really likes, wants or needs. Even if you’re in a hurry, it’s worth taking the time to do this.

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Is it a good value or a good bargain?

If you’re tempted to buy an item because it’s 60 percent off, stop and ask yourself if you would consider buying that same item if it was 10 or 20 percent off. Focus on the item, not the potential savings. This is especially true when buying wearable gifts. Be sure to carefully inspect bargain clothing. Is it sewn well? Are there runs or holes in the fabric? Are all the buttons present and accounted for? Some items find their way into the bargain bin because they’re damaged or poorly made.

Does the bargain pass the “I-might-keep-this” test?

This is an easy one. Are you strongly tempted to keep the prospective gift for yourself? If so, buy it. If possible, buy an extra one and give yourself a present you know you’ll love. Happy Holidays!

What’s the best holiday bargain you ever bought? Let us know in the Comments section.