On sale or not

This happens to me every so often. I’ll go into a store, spot a rack of shirts with a sign that says, “50% off!” I paw through it and find a bargain, then rush to the cashier’s line with the fewest people in it. That’s usually a mistake; the line will come to a halt because of a fussy customer, a yakker who talks too much and can’t find their credit card in a purse or wallet that contains a historical record of their life, or the computer comes up with the wrong price – creating the need to call a manager who almost always takes five minutes or more to get there. 

I stick it out as the “long line” I shunned quickly passes by. When it’s finally my turn, the clerk scans the shirt and says, “That will be $30.” 

I thought I was getting it for half-off, $15. I protest, explain it came from the 50%-off rack. 

The clerk scolds me, tells me that if I had read the sign correctly, I would have known that I had to buy two items to get 50% off the second item. Never mind, I say, and hand the shirt back to the clerk and slink out the door, grumbling about false advertising. 

The other sales gimmick, similar to this, is found in grocery stores, “Buy one, get one free!” I never want two of the items and notice that the base price seems higher than normal. So, I don’t buy it! 

Some stores, and you have to learn this the hard way, will charge you the half-price even if you don’t buy two. You can tell which stores won’t; there is a pile of discarded items next to the register and grumbling customers walking out the door. 

Trick advertising pops up all over the place. How about the car ads on TV, claiming that the price of that Ford F-150 Truck is now $9,300 lower? I always think that the price of the truck and then come to my senses and remember that these trucks cost more than several of the houses I’ve purchased. They never mention the price you’ll pay. They don’t dare. 

Even with the huge markdown it would be too much of a shock. These are the same outfits that lure you in with a low lease price – $229 per month for a brand new Toyota Camry. If you freeze the TV screen and read the fine print you’ll see you need to fork over a down payment of $4,500 on that 36-month lease. If you do the math, you’ll discover it, in reality, adds $125 to the monthly cost; you are prepaying that portion of the lease cost.  

You should never prepay a lease. If you get into an accident and total the car, the dealer gets the entire insurance payment; you get nothing. That $4,500 prepayment is gone. 

Now if you want a good buy with no strings attached, you can buy my novella, “Mystery on South Mountain,” on Amazon. It’s available as a Kindle eBook for $2.99. You only have to buy one to get this great deal. LOL

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