Once in a Life Time Deals are Almost Always Costly

by David Ning · 12 comments

If you don’t buy it now, the price will go up.

Sales people love limited time offers, because there aren’t many ways to get a customer to make a purchase faster than telling them that the price will be higher if they buy later. But for a customer, is it worth it to say yes?

How This Relates to Huge Purchases

With baby Sara coming and constant talk about family visits, the idea of a bigger place has moved back front and center in the Ning household. I’ve been delaying my family’s desire to buy a house for two years now. It was fortunate that home prices nationwide have dramatically come down, but that’s hardly why it was a good decision.

Even if home prices went up, it’s more costly for us to own a home.

That’s because every day we are in the bigger house, we are paying more property taxes, more utilities, and more repairs. The more we pay, the less we keep. We have been paying less than two thousand dollars per month on our apartment, but it’s not unusual to hear our friends complaining about their five to six thousand dollars home expenses every month.

Never mind the missing interest with your down payment. Everyone I know who owns a house is paying more than the ones who rent, even when tax savings and the hidden equity in mortgage payments are factored in.

If a sales person tells you that the prices will go up, it still might be better to wait and pay a higher price later.

What about Smaller Buys?

Here’s another reason why you should take a long time to research your car purchase. The longer you take, the longer you are keeping your current car and the more cost effective it becomes.

Sure, you may lose out on a great year end deal now, but waiting three more months on a car purchase without fail will likely reduce your car purchases in your lifetime once or even twice. Isn’t that a better deal?

When someone gives you an offer you can’t seem to refuse on the spot, say no and wait anyway.

Wait… Because There Certainly is More…

Everything works pretty much the same way. New clothes, shoes, iPods, laptops, TVs, cars, house, and more. The size of the purchase doesn’t matter. The longer you can wait, the less you will end up spending.

Buy now or be forever priced out. Well, that might be the best thing that’s going to happen to you.

What do you think? How often do you say yes because someone tells you the price will be higher later?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy December 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

I’ve been worrying about being priced out of a home for a few years now, but it has shown that no bubbles will stay inflated.

Be patient, because there’s really no such thing as “priced out forever”.

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David @ MBA briefs December 28, 2009 at 9:40 am

I hate the hard sell, and it usually pays to tell the salesman upfront you have 2 or 3 other options you’re considering, whether it’s a house, car, refrigerator, whatever. If you’re shopping for a car that should buy you time to check out the Blue Book value, read consumer reviews, and do some price comparison shopping so if and when you do go back you’re armed with all the knowledge you need to combat the salesman. I find I usually end up knowing more than they do when I go back to talk to them. If they’re giving you a fixed time limit I’d wait right up to the last second to find out if they’ll come down even more, and if they want a decision on the spot I would always walk away.

As far as home prices going up that’s going to be on a case by case basis; a realtor can’t say in all truthfulness he or she knows all home prices are going to rise.

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Victor December 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

Patience always wins. Most of the time, I wait and I don’t really see the need to even buy it anymore. Some people think that it’s depriving myself but it works for me.

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John DeFlumeri Jr December 28, 2009 at 10:36 am

“Limited time offer”, and “once in a lifetime deal” are both powerful selling phrases.

John DeFlumeri Jr

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LeanLifeCoach December 28, 2009 at 10:37 am

A hard sell job is the quickest way to lose my business. There is always someone else willing to sell the same thing for less. Personally it’s more about the level of service during and more importantly after the sale.

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George December 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm

“Once in a lifetime” is simply hype that salespeople use to make us feel like we have to buy now. This tactic is used because the salesperson wants us to buy. The sale is more likely to benefit the seller than the buyer.

Anytime a salesperson uses a tactic to make me purchase now, I always delay. Not because I do not want to decide now, but because I know that they are attempting to get me to buy now. It’s a form of manipulation that helps them, at my expense. It is in their interest for me to buy now. And, therefore, it is probably not in my interest to buy now. It is better for me to buy later (if at all).

This line of thinking is different for the old cop-out “let me think about it”. People us this lame excuse because they don’t want to make a decision. I am suggesting just the opposite. That we make a decision. That we make a choise that serves us, and not the salesperson.

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Bank Guru December 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Talk to a Real Estate Agent… some marketplaces in the states are booming (shocking i know). Maybe even try picking up a foreclosure home for cheap. The banks just want to get rid of the foreclosure homes off their records. Might be a great time to buy.

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Evan December 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I hate the hard car sale. I have looked at salesmen and literally said, if you offered it to me today, it’ll be there tomorrow when I want to Pay.

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Cd Phi December 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

Things that say “limited time offer” or “Buy now and we’ll throw in blah blah blah.” to me sounds like those infomercials that try to sell late-night viewers. Don’t fall for their lines.

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Dominique December 30, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I too try to stay away from the impulse buying due to the “limited time offer” mentality. It does pay to wait even though it seems that the prices of houses are skyrocketing where I am currently staying. It is not worth making a hasty decision which I will regret later.

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Aspiring Millionaire October 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Holding off has paid off for me financially so many times. From small purchases such as an ipod right through to large ones.

By holding off a little I almost always get the item for at least half the price I was originally going to pay or for free. Just this weekend my sister gave me an ipod coz she upgraded. Also this weekend I picked up something I have wanted for my daughters for $30. Original price was $179.

It pays to wait.

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Joy March 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

It depends. The fact is, the same decision making process for buying still applies. While getting a bargain is fun, I won’t consider big purchases without looking over the math on price per month, and most sales don’t matter as much as your big picture thinking. (It matters a little if the house is on sale, it matters a lot if it is in an area with massive property taxes.) Of course, on medium to small purchases that last nearly forever (an appliance I genuinely need, high end wool clothing) and groceries, aiming for a sale is totally worthwhile.

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