5 Examples Of When A Good Deal Isn’t Worth The Bother

I’m all about getting a good deal on stuff, but price isn’t everything. There are other factors that come into play when it comes to deciding where to get your ‘stuff’.  Sometimes, a deal is too good to pass up.  I know people that detest Best Buy, but will sit outside all night to score a good deal there for Black Friday.  Chances are they don’t go back for another 364 days!

Here are a few real world examples of decisions we’ve made that go above and beyond price:

  • Long Lines – There’s a Wal-Mart and a Meijer practically side by side in a location near our house.  For those who aren’t familiar, Meijer is a midwest chain of stores that sells grocery and household items all under one roof.  They’re pretty similar to Wal-Mart.  The Wal-Mart has better everyday prices, probably by 2-3% overall, but my wife flat out refuses to shop there except for occasionally.  The reason being is that Wal-Mart always has long lines.  Doesn’t matter what day or time it is, my wife has had to wait in long lines so much that she won’t do it.
  • Location – We buy baby formula from Target (their Up and Up brand) even though the Kirkland brand sold at Costco is slightly cheaper (by about 3-5%).  Why?  Because we have a Target half a mile from our house, where the closest Costco is about eight miles away.  If we run low, we can have a new can in hand within 20 minutes using Target.  Not so much with Costco.
  • Return policy – When looking for kids clothing, my wife will always check at Carter’s first.  She’ll check around on price, but unless it’s drastically different, she’ll buy from Carter’s almost every time.  Why?  Because, with a receipt, you can return items at Carter’s forever.  Not so much at other kids stores.  This lets her take advantage of sales up to a year in advance because she knows that even if the kids don’t fit into it, she can return it.  That’s huge.
  • Bad experience – I don’t care if Quizno’s were to give us subs, chips, and drinks for free, I probably wouldn’t bother going there.  Why?  Because we had such a negative experience there that they lost my loyalty.
  • Outrageous shipping prices– Everybody who’s shopped online semi-regularly has surely at one point or another abandoned their purchase once they saw how much shipping costs added to their order during the checkout process.  I have no proof, but I truly believe many stores sell items with no profit margin on the actual item, but try to make all of their profits by sticking it to you on shipping costs.

Do you ever willingly pay more for an item based on the items above?  What other triggers will exist that will make it justifiable to you to pay more?

Image: B&H Photo Video store checkout line an hour before passover starts by MichaelTapp on Flickr

8 thoughts on “5 Examples Of When A Good Deal Isn’t Worth The Bother”

  1. I have to agree with the Wal-Mart post. Between the long lines and the obnoxious people that I always seem to deal with, it’s just not worth it.

    • Yeah, Wal-Mart is the pits but for the entertainment value, it’s sometimes worth poking your head in

  2. Long lines and shipping prices that suck are both deal breakers for me. I will almost never wait in a long line (I’m not very patient) for a good deal, unless it’s truly amazing.

  3. I’m with you most on the long lines and bad experience. I tend to hold grudges, and if I get poor customer service or product, absent a sincere apology and genuine effort to make good, that’s it for me, I’ll never be back.

    This is related to your location one, but I’d add parking and busy-ness of the area. I don’t like waiting at lights and in traffic and negotiating too-small, overcrowded parking lights. So I won’t go to a retailer if those are part of the deal.

    • Good points. I’m not at all patient in parking lots so I probably share that with you to a tee!

  4. I hate crowds when I’m trying to shop and would not be caught in a store on Black Friday– especially when shipping is typically FREE.
    Another thing we will pay more for are “made in America” products– the husband will buy nothing but RedWing boots– and even some of those are made in China now. You have to check the tag to see where they are made. My sister takes it a step further and will not buy ANYTHING that is not made in America—needless to say, a trip to Walmart with her is an all-day project.

  5. I suppose I shouldn’t admit it, being a personal finance blogger and all, but I’ve made more than a few shopping decisions based on just these types of factors. Long lines, in particular, have made me turn away from more than one store, and made me shop somewhere that might have been expensive, but which I could get into and out of without nearly as long of a wait.

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