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Deal or No Deal? 5 Reasons Most Presidents Day Sales Are a Total Rip-Off

It's in our human nature to take advantage of sales. There's something almost primal about shopping that calls out to the cave dweller in all of us that used to hunt deer through the forest thousands of years ago: except now the forest is the mall, and deer are sales.

There's also the simpler explanation that everyone likes to save money.

Alongside Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday season, one of the biggest sales periods of the year is President's Day. And while it may seem like it's a day when you get to turn the tables and take advantage of stores and brands for once instead of the other way around, you have to be careful not to be taken advantage of yourself. Here's 5 reasons many President's Day "sales" are actually a rip-off.

They Lure You In, Then Upsell

The fact is that companies commercialize events like President's Day specifically so that they can lure shoppers in and create a feeding frenzy scenario where they come out on top. The first way they do this is by heavily discounting specific items that look enticing on the sales flyer or in an ad, but once you actually see them in the store lose a lot of their luster, and instead of buying them you end up buying items where the savings aren't that great.

The Discount Isn't Really That High

The truth is that most of us don't keep track of how much something regularly costs. Why would we? We have lives to lead. But companies take advantage of that by announcing to the world that they're selling toasters for the bargain price of $10! Never mind that toasters usually only cost $11 the rest of the year.

They've Run Out of Stock by the Time You Get There

This is another trick for getting you in the store. Retailers advertise a legitimately good deal, but then stock so few units of it that by the time you get there, they're already gone. Ever heard the saying, "don't throw good money after bad?" It applies here. Don't fall in to the trap of feeling obligated to buy something just because you've already gone through the effort of getting out of the house and going to the store.

You Don't Really Need the Sale Item Anyway

Even for items where the savings are actually pretty substantial and it's a good bargain, you may not actually need the item in the first place. And while it's hard to turn down a good bargain, think of it like this: is it a better bargain to spend a little money on something you don't need, or no money at all?

They Tempt You To Spend Money You Don't Have

One of the more insidious ways that Presidents Day sales rip you off is tempting you to spend money you don't have. Sometimes they'll do this directly by offering pre-approved store credit cards, and other times they just make you feel secure in pulling out a credit card or searching for "where are title loans near me?"

While there are valid uses for both credit cards and title loans, Presidents Day deals are not one of them. No discount, no matter how deep or how good a deal it seems, is worth going into debt for.