Beware of sales that seem too good to be true

Published 10:12 pm Friday, June 28, 2019


Contributing Columnist

You cannot turn on the television or radio without hearing advertisements offering huge and often ridiculous sales, such as buy one get one free. I saw an advertisement recently from a shoe store that advertised that if I would just buy one pair of shoes that I would then get two pair free. While I would love to believe that I would be able to purchase three pairs of shoes for the price of one, the sad fact is that nothing in this life is free, nor would I expect it to be. People are always looking for a good deal and if they find it, they would likely buy the item whether they needed it or not. Businesses will often times take advantage of that, and offer these ridiculous types of sales to make us believe we are getting a good deal when in fact, all we are doing is buying two items when we only needed one. If businesses gave away items free they wouldn’t be able to keep their doors open for very long. Many times, you will notice that the price of the buy one get one free item is double the price of the other items on the shelf in order to pay for the “free” item.

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Some of the worst offenders at offering bogus sales are car dealerships. We have all heard car dealers make these loud and obnoxious commercials, and then the announcer will read off the fine print so fast that it makes my brain hurt. I received a flyer in the mail recently from a car dealer that a new pickup truck was discounted five thousand dollars off the retail price. How much is this truck overpriced if they can take five thousand dollars off the price and still make a profit? The fine print at the bottom of the ad gave all the details. I have no idea what it said because the print was so small — I would have to have super powers to be able to see it. Some car dealers will offer services under the disguise of being free, such as free oil changes or tire rotations, with the purchase of a new vehicle. I would much rather just buy a vehicle at a reasonable price, than to have them insult my intelligence by trying to swindle me with overpriced vehicles and services.

We should be careful when using coupons as well. Once upon a time, coupons were designed to reduce the price of an item in order to get you to try it in hopes that you would start buying it. These days, it seems that coupons are designed purely to just make you buy more of an item than what you actually need, while offering little savings in return. I received a coupon in the mail recently that offered me 50 cents off the price of a bottle of bourbon, if I bought three. Why would I need three bottles of bourbon? Who am I, Charlie Sheen?

I hate overpaying for anything and as a result, I am always on the lookout for a good deal. However, we need to be very careful to make sure we aren’t taken advantage of by the offer of free items that are in fact not free at all. There are many good lessons that I have learned in my life and one of those is that nothing is free. As we come upon the July 4th holiday, I am reminded of the fact that the freedom we enjoy in this country is also not free. Enjoy the holiday and thank a veteran.

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author and historian.