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Don’t discount on it

The sale season has begun. But before you join the mad rush to shop, make sure you read the fine print first

india Updated: Oct 28, 2012 22:43 IST

There is nothing like the prospect of securing a bargain to get our adrenaline going. We refer, of course, to the multitude of sales offering discounts on everything. But as seasoned sales suckers, let us offer you a few tips. You will spot the sign from faraway. It will offer up to 70% off on your favourite clothing brand or pressure cooker. Slavering at the thought of saving all that money, you rush in and select a fetching piece. Up sidles the oleaginous salesman saying, “No, madam, that particular piece is not on sale.” Upon which you will ask, then which pieces are indeed going 70% cheaper. You will be ushered to a grubby corner of the shop where one-size-fits-no-one apparel will be on display or a household appliance which has seen better days will grace the shelf. Upon seeing this, you will flee. Or, you just might actually cough up the real price and buy the item you had spotted in the first place.

Then, we have the phenomenon of the factory price showroom. Elated at the thought of getting something fresh off the mint, which costs a fraction of what it does in the showrooms in malls, you will race in and select your piece. Only to be told that, you’ve guessed by now, this does not come into the factory price category. Then we have the buy-one-get-one-free offer on many takeaway items. Or the discount coupons for restaurants. Chances are that you will take your partner for a meal in order to show off your deep pockets which you think you can do on the cheap, only to be told that the coupon is valid for a restaurant of the same chain within a one mile radius of a region outside your city. When the bill comes, you can only hope that you are near a defibrillator. The get one free is usually of a flavour that you would only eat if threatened with starvation in the Sahara desert, so you will just end up ordering the item which suits your palate at the full price with no add-ons.

So our advice to you is to read the fine print first before you embark on the perilous journey of braving the crowds to save a few bob or ordering something which you would never dream of actually eating. Now if only we could find someone who would pay to read our edits if we were to throw in a few free.