Keep An Eye On Prices

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We are all seeking the best price on everything these days. We are clutching those dollars so tight the images might jump off.

Retailers have become sneakier than ever in an attempt to get our dollars. A large grocery store chain recently announced it was going to offer sales like the departments stores, "eight hours only." When the news finally got around to the story, it didn't surprise me to see prices that didn't make me think twice about not wasting my time shopping there.

The stores are making loud noises in hopes that you will jump just because they say so without thinking twice. One grocery chain that I shop in has a few extras that help from time to time. They have buy one get one free deals. However, only once have I found an offer that the initial price on the product hadn't been upped. I almost grabbed a big container of ice cream one day when I saw, "get one free" sign on the most expensive ice cream. I looked a little longer and discovered that the store brand was half the price and equaled the same if you bought two. I only really needed one.

Then there is the something I started noticing more lately. If you see a good price, look at the amount you are buying. More often than not, when it comes to items where there are few choices, a lower price may mean a smaller container. I snatched a big container of ice cream at the corner store today because I didn't want to take the time to go the few extra blocks. It occurred to me that the container just didn't seem to be as big as it used to be. What used to be a two quart container is now just 1.5.

One could get eye stain trying to read all the fine print.
Those of us on tight budgets have an even harder time. No one is charged more than those in this demographic category. A recent episode of Judge Judy dealt with a woman who had used one of those chains that rent you furniture with the idea that you eventually buy it. It appeals to those with bad credit and low incomes. It turned out that the game console ended up costing twice as much if the consumer had been able to go out and use a credit card and buy it.

For those stuck with buying minutes on cell phones, they are getting phone coverage but paying outrageous costs compared to those who have a contract with a phone company.

There will be more lures to try and get you into stores. Don't jump every time you see the word sale. Sales are only relevant if the price is really a good one and if you are in need of the object.

On the other hand, when it comes to your business, make sure if you offer a discount to customers, make sure that it truly is a discount. Don't fall into the trap of everyone else out there. If you are true and honest with your business, then you will still be ahead of the rest of the crowd.

Times are going to get tougher with the rumbling in the economy. California had a bank failure last week, allegedly the second worst in history. The Dow fell so far that the news commentators were asking whether or not it was time to panic.

Keep your nose to the ground for changes. Read the fine print on every transaction you take on. Make sure you keep your mind open for more than one way to make money. Anyone who doesn't is going to have it even tougher.

But, on a cheery note, there will be an increasing number of sales than ever before. Keep your ears open and jump on the ones that are right for you.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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