For the past three years I have seen a growing trend of homeowners throwing away tons of money on purchases that don’t make sense, simply becasue the items were on “sale”. Most Sales, especially 50% off or more are final. Everyone’s hurting, including the big guys so in an effort to get your hard earned dollar they create the illusion that there’s savings to be had. Case in point, I recently had a lady call me wanting me to “figure out” how to use her new rug. On an impulse she purchased an 11 foot by 15 foot area rug made of 100% wool. Great, seems easy enough. But that wasn’t the case. Apparently THIS rug was handmade by elves in a small fair trade country in Narnia, and it came with it’s own bag of fairy dust. Why? Because this rug was lemon yellow and her entire house is brown, blue and orange.

In an economy that has been slumped for what seems like forever, everyone is on the hunt for that unbelievable bargain, no matter what the cost. With shows like Design on a Dime and Extreme Couponing everyone seems to be joining in on the mad craze, wanting to get a piece of that savings mirage. Reality check! Is it smart to be spending when the goal is to save? Does an 11 foot by 15 foot lemon yellow rug make sense (when your house has no yellow) just because YOU THINK you are saving 50%?

In the end, Mrs H as I will call her, ended up spending her savings on design time with me to make her “bargain” work. And she is not alone. On average I work with at least 7 clients a year trying to fix their mistakes. I think it is also important to point out that most of those “SALES” are marketing schemes. How do I know this? Because the proof is in the pudding. My staff and I are redoing my new office and there are two lamps that I would like to purchase, from a well known design vendor, for the new conference room. I was just reviewing them this past week and low and behold yesterday they popped up on a very well known “online discount company”. They were THREE times the wholesale cost, BUT LISTED as 65% OFF. That my friends is not a discount, that is a marketing ploy to get you to purchase an item at regular retail without you knowing it. And that is how you end up with a lemon colored rug. Unfortunately this is the new way of doing business and it seems that everyone is buying into that savings mirage. And the worst part? Your “bargain” that was probably purchased at full price is non-returnable which is music to that manufacturers ears!



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