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Wait 24 Hours Before You Buy

wait 24 hoursHave you ever scored a “deal” only to learn that you really didn’t get that great of a deal? If you use Groupon then this may have happened to you. This happened when I almost bought a 6-pack of Puma socks. Seeing that the socks were 75% off was hard to pass up but after a quick search on Amazon I learned that the socks were listed for the same price as the Groupon “deal” and there were other socks with higher ratings that were cheaper than the Puma socks!

Now don’t get me wrong; Groupon does have some great deals but it pays to make sure of it. With the timer counting down until the offer expires we feel pressure to BUY NOW. However, let me offer a simple tip that can save you from spending extra on what you thought was a good deal.

Wait 24 hours

That’s right. When you decide you want to buy something I recommend waiting 24 hours before buying it. During that time, do a little research to compare prices. The same situation with the Groupon deal shows up in stores as well. For example, JCPenney may have a sale going on where items are marked down to 70% off. That 70% off is relative because if you look at the tag it says that the coat you want to buy was originally $500 but now it’s marked down to $150. I don’t think JCPenney ever sells coats at the original price on the tag, but because we see the 70% off sticker we think we’re scoring a deal.

Learn when the best discounts occur

Say you’re looking to buy some new patio furniture to go with the new patio you installed this summer (true story for me!). Rather than rushing out to buy new furniture, playing the patience game will lead to some great discounts as fall rolls around and stores are marking down patio furniture to get rid of it. You can often find the best discounts on items AFTER the season is over. That winter coat you contemplated buying at JCPenney will be much cheaper when spring gets closer rather than buying it in November when the demand is high (at least here in Michigan) and everyone is buying a coat.

11-17-2014 8-40-57 PMCheck out Craigslist

Buying a used product can save a lot of money. I found a jogging stroller that I liked but it retailed for $200. I didn’t find the stroller on Craigslist at first but I checked a week later and saw one for $40 in great condition. It helps that I keep a running list of things I’d like to buy but am not in hurry to get so that I can check Craigslist every few days and wait for a great deal to show up.

Do you need it?

Waiting 24 hours allows time for you to think about if you actually need the product or not. Sometimes the line between a need versus a want can get blurred and we think we NEED something when really it’s an item we simply want. Sure, it’s on sale, but do you NEED it? Can you wear your winter coat for a few more years or are you caught up with wanting the latest style? I’ll let an item sit in my online shopping cart for a day or two and I’ll realize I really don’t need the item so it gets deleted or put on my wish list for later.

Ask around

If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Craigslist then another great option is to post a status on Facebook asking if anyone has what you’re looking for. If you’re building a patio and need a table saw then there’s no sense in buying one if you can borrow a friend’s (or rent one in this case). Facebook is great for buying cheaper items and finding things you only need for a one-time use but don’t want to buy it. Your friend may not be actively looking to sell a space heater but once they see your status “Anyone have a space heater they don’t want anymore?” your friend might sell it to you for a low cost or maybe even give it to you for free since you’re taking it off of their hands!

Black Friday is right around the corner. While this situation doesn’t allow you to wait 24 hours, don’t get caught up with spontaneous purchases or the hype of extreme discounts. Often stores only have 10 or so items that are an amazing deal while everything else in the store is close to its regular price. Don’t let Black Friday leave you in the red as 2014 wraps up. Consider the purchases you are making, decide if you really need it, and seek out other options that may get you a better price.

What tips have saved you money when shopping? 

This post has been written by Jessica from

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Great tip. Because I’m a huge skinflint, I wait 24 hours for small purchases, and 30 days for anything over £50. If in 30 days time, I still want the item (and not any other similar item over £50), it bought!

    It really helps me avoid silly impulse purchase that will simply sit in the back of the drawer/cupboard/loft/etc…

    • That’s a great system. If you can get by 30 days without the item I’m sure it makes you reevaluate if you even need it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve heard rumors that some stores change the tags on items before a sale just to entice buyers into thinking they are getting a great deal. Using the coat example, they would mark-up the price just so you think that $150 is a bargain at 70% off when really the coat normally sells for $200.

    I have no proof of this, just hear rumors. But it wouldn’t surprise me seeing as how so many people are influenced by getting a good deal.

  3. I like and use he 24 waiting period too. I think using online research for comparing prices before you buy is the best tool ever. 🙂

  4. These are great tips, especially for large purchases like vehicles, houses, etc.

    • Perfect example: you said especially houses and it made me raise an eyebrow and think “well I sure hope someone would wait at least 24 hours before buying a house!” Then I remembered we were guilty of this. When we were house hunting we saw a home and heard it was already getting some offers so we quickly submitted an offer for asking price, $20k more than what we had discussed we would pay for a home! Thankfully it wasn’t accepted but the pressure of making a decision totally trapped us in this situation!

  5. Very insightful post! When you are in the process of buying large items (house, car, boat, home entertainment system, appliances, etc.), you should definitely wait 24 hours before making any purchases. It’s also smart to consider other options, and you should research the insurance, warranty, and maintenance cost associated with the item. Thanks for sharing this insight!

    • I actually just had this happen to me just recently. I had the opportunity to get an entertainment center for free. I really wanted it, but in reality I have nowhere to put it and it would actually decrease my happiness overall (most likely). The key part to this story is that I didn’t realize this until after the 24 hour period. Sometimes it takes a while for logic to catch up to our emotions.

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