There's nothing better than the feeling you get after saving money. These days, it isn't too difficult to do! Due to the poor economy, merchants are trying to capture our hard-earned dollar any way they possibly can, resulting in sales where retailers discount items by as much as 75 percent.
However, there are a few stubborn items and services out there that never seem to go on sale, like the ticket to see your favorite band perform at Madison Square Garden or the newest video game console your child wants for his birthday. Have you ever wondered why some products are always excluded from storewide sales? In many cases, the retailer has agreed to sell above a set price in exchange for permission to offer the product in a store, keeping it far away from the discount table. What's a girl to do?
Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to wait for an item to go on sale -- quite frankly, because it never will. To help you decide when to wait and when to buy, here are 10 things that never go on sale.
10: Wedding Costs
While brides and their mothers usually have fun planning a wedding, fathers groan at the mounting expenses. Even though thrifty shoppers can uncover deals while shopping for generic wedding gowns, it goes without saying that this season's Vera Wang dress won't be marked down anytime soon.
If you're in the thick of planning your big day, you've probably learned that costs associated with weddings are rarely discounted, and the rental fees, alterations charges and other miscellaneous costs can quickly add up. Industry professionals like wedding planners, seamstresses and musicians will rarely (if ever) discount their services, so open your wallet and get ready to swipe your credit card.
Other hidden costs that never go on sale include the cake-cutting fee, postage stamps for the wedding invitations and alcohol charges. While your groom's mother might score a discounted rental fee for the rehearsal dinner venue (especially if the event is on a Thursday night), the open bar costs and dinner menu will be full-price, year-round.
9: An Education
If you're like me, you can remember many days during your childhood that you didn't want to roll out of bed to meet the big yellow bus. Even though a lot of us take our education for granted, it's important to remember that we're lucky to live in a society that gives us the right to free, public schooling.
The key word here is "public." Depending on the city and state where you live, private school tuition can cost thousands of dollars per year, and we can promise you that these fees will never go on sale.
This goes for a college education, too. Many of today's high school students work hard for scholarships because college tuition is becoming more costly every year. Even though a chosen few are granted all-inclusive scholarships that cover tuition, board and books, many young people still graduate from college with thousands of dollars in debt.
Ambitious students who want to obtain a master's or doctorate degree will be ponying up even more. Students who enter medical school or law school should also expect to pay full price for their education. And over the course of your years of schooling, if you ever hire a tutor to help you pass a tough exam, cough up the money for those steep hourly rates -- tutors never discount their fees, either!
8: Luxury Apparel
Most clothing items can be purchased on sale at some point during the year, especially on Black Friday and the day after Christmas. However, there are certain designers who rarely, if ever, approve a discount for their signature pieces. So, if you want a luxury pair of pumps or a fur coat for your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris, go ahead and pay up.
UGG footwear, the much-beloved Hermès Birkin bag, and Louis Vuitton handbags, luggage and eyewear go on sale so infrequently that it's almost impossible for retailers to remember the last time they saw these items on sale.
If you're a man feeling pressure to propose to your girlfriend, it's not smart to wait for high-end jewelry or diamonds to go on sale! Don't expect the retailer with the famous little blue boxes to hold a massive year-end sale and knock several thousand dollars off the ring your fiancée-to-be has her heart set on.
So, your favorite band is coming to your town. When you looked up the ticket price online, you discovered that not only are the tickets expensive, but also several pesky processing fees are added to the total.
Concert tickets aren't the only ones that end up being extra-pricey right before you enter your credit card number. Whether you want to see Tiger Woods play golf at the Masters or watch the hockey team at your local arena, almost every sporting event ticket purchased online includes extra fees tacked on before checkout. While these tickets are almost never offered at a discount, you can buy them at the box office window to avoid additional processing charges.
Over the past several years, movie tickets have also skyrocketed in price, and the high cost of popcorn and a soda at the theater shows no signs of dropping. Our advice? Skip the snacks and hit up a flick after your dinner date, or go for the slightly less expensive afternoon matinee.
6: Home Improvement Materials
Those of you who've built a new house or broken ground on a home improvement project know that you can't wait around for building materials to go on sale. Whether you're paving a patio just in time to enjoy summer barbecues with your neighbors or constructing your dream home from the ground up, you need plenty of lumber, tile and stone to get the job done. It's unlikely that you're going to stumble across any of these items on sale, so choose the products you need, strap on your overalls, grab a hammer and get to work.
Similarly, seasonal materials like flowers, grass, potting soil, pine straw and trees, are unlikely to show up on sale at your local lawn and garden shop. If you really want a hydrangea bush to sprout pretty pink and blue blooms in your yard this summer, purchase one in the spring at full retail price to enjoy for many months to come. Other items you won't find on sale when spring has sprung? Tools like shovels and pruners.
Finally, if your sink springs a leak, don't wait for a small trickle to turn into a flood because you're holding out for a sale on a pipe wrench! If you need tools for urgent home repairs, you can't afford to wait for a blow-out sale at your hardware store. What's more, jobs that are too big to handle yourself mean calling in a repairman and preparing to pay top dollar -- home improvement pros never discount their services, either.
People pitch tents and camp outside popular department stores and electronics retailers several times a year before big sales, hoping to get their hands on a heavily discounted television, DVD player or computer. Even though certain electronics do go on sale, many others will never get marked down throughout the year. For example, Apple products, like the iPhone, iPad and iPod, don't go on sale or drop in price until a newer model is released. Video games and video game consoles are also items that are rarely seen with a sale tag attached to them.
Why is it that so few electronics go on sale? Manufacturers are legally permitted to set a floor price on any merchandise they choose, which usually includes their hottest-selling products. Once a price is set, the deal is done. If stores violate this agreement and slash the price of a popular product, the manufacturer is then allowed to cut off all advertising funds to that particular store. Even worse, if the manufacturer is really upset, it's legally permitted to take business elsewhere and stop sending merchandise to that store altogether. Costs for products set by minimum advertised pricing will more than likely never go on sale before a newer model hits the market, so if your child wants the newest game system for his birthday, don't wait for the store to offer it to you at a discount.
4: Organic Groceries
Grocery stores pay researchers large sums of money each year to study us and the way we shop for our groceries. It's no surprise that the foods most often purchased by consumers, like milk, eggs, cheese and meat, can be found at the back of the grocery store. To get to these popular must-haves, grocers have us navigate through aisles full of cereal, candy, chips and cookies, allowing that by chance, we might decide to impulsively throw a few boxes in our shopping carts along the way.
As you stroll through the produce section in your grocery store, you might notice that the organic apples are quite a bit more expensive than the nonorganic ones. Why pay more for organic groceries instead of buying their conventional counterparts? Not only are you supporting local farmers and your local economy by buying organic, some studies suggest that organic produce is more nutritious and is less likely to contain harmful pesticides. It's true that organic produce is less likely to ever go on sale compared to the regular fruits and vegetables offered by your local grocery store, so if you want the freshest foods fast, you'll have to pay full price.
3: Beauty Products and Services
Many women claim they can't live without a tube of lipstick, red nail polish and a classic haircut. Men may be surprised to learn how much money some women are willing to shell out for these items and salon services. In a lifetime, women spend thousands of dollars on beauty products and services. And in that lifetime, a woman is very unlikely to find cosmetics or a salon hair color treatment at a discounted fee. Sure, free makeup gifts can be found at every beauty counter in the mall, but if you have to buy a tube of mascara and a pressed powder compact to get the gift, is it really free?
For that matter, anyone can walk into a large chain retailer and buy low-cost shampoo or conditioner on sale, but for those who prefer salon-quality products, expect to pay full price. Salon services, like highlights and custom styling, also come at high prices that are almost never seen at discounted rates. If your roots are showing, or your bangs are constantly in your eyes, it doesn't pay for you to wait and see if these salon services will go on sale. Grab your cell phone and make an appointment with your favorite hair stylist as soon as you can.
2: Professional Services
If you slip on a banana peel in the produce aisle, break your arm and need a lawyer's help to sue the grocery store, or if your husband really needs to have a dermatologist remove that strange black mole from his back, you're going to require professional help. Unless your lawyer graciously accepts your case pro bono, or your derm is Dr. Oz, and he wants to remove your ghastly mole for free on TV in front of millions of viewers, don't expect to find a coupon for these experts' services. Lawyers, dermatologists, veterinarians and other specialists charge according to their level of expertise, and they almost never offer a discount to the public.
In addition to professional services you need, the ones you want also don't go on sale. If you want the bump on your nose removed by a plastic surgeon, or you'd like have the gap between your two front teeth closed by an orthodontist, don't wait around. The popularity of cosmetic surgery has skyrocketed over the past decade, so the pros are staying busy, and they don't need to discount their services to entice customers.
For the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on their cars to travel to work every day, the high price of gasoline can put a large dent in a monthly budget. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gas prices rise considerably around Memorial Day and spike annually during popular tourist holidays, like the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Even though gas prices can take you on an unpleasant financial roller coaster ride over the course of a year, it's practically delusional to wait for a sale on gasoline.
As gas becomes more expensive, people tend to drive less and look for other modes of transportation to save money. However, when the price of gasoline is high, it's no surprise that the rising costs at the pump directly affect the price of airline tickets and bus and taxi fares. Airlines and public transit raise the price of their services to offset rising fuel costs, especially during the summer, when gasoline is more expensive. So, if you're depending on your car to get to work on time, or you need to buy a bus ticket to see your grandmother on her birthday, take our advice and don't wait around for a gasoline sale. As long as gas prices are high, we can guarantee you that other transportation fares will be high as well.
Lots More Information
- Top 10 Groceries Americans Buy
- 10 Store-brand Products that Are the Same as Name Brands
- Top 10 Marked-up Items in the Grocery Store
- 5 Extreme Coupon Tips for Normal People
- Groceries: Do You Know the Price?
- How to Cut Household Grocery Expenses
- How to Raise a Large Family on a Budget
- How can you throw a cocktail party on a budget?
- How can you throw a fun dinner party on a budget?
- Bonsor, Kevin, and Ed Grabianowski. "How Gas Prices Work." HowStuffWorks.com. June 5, 2001. (Feb. 3, 2011).http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-consumption/gas-price.htm/printable
- McCloud, Linda M. "Why Some Products Never Go on Sale." Yahoo. Dec. 22, 2010. (Feb. 2, 2011).http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6124914/why_some_products_never_go_on_sale.html?cat=46
- Nelson, Jennifer. "5 Ways to Keep Your Commute from Killing You." Today Health. Feb. 2, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2011).http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41175749/ns/health-heart_health/
- Stutz, Howard. "Despite deficit, lottery DOA." Las Vegas Review-Journal. Feb. 6, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2011).http://www.lvrj.com/business/despite-deficit-lottery-doa-115414329.html