We’d all like to believe we’re savvy shoppers, and we delight in the thrill of landing a bargain. Marketers know this all too well, and tease us with a cheap deal only to introduce big costs later.
So here are three seemingly small purchasing choices that are cheap up front, but cost a lot in the long run.
Coloring your hair
Part of the appeal of ponying up the extra cash to frequent a fancy salon is that the stylist spends much of your appointment dishing out compliments. After all, she works for tips, and flattery never hurts when it comes time to pay the tab. But have you ever notice she can compliment her way into selling you more products and services? It sounds something like this.
“Your hair is such a gorgeous color. I’d love to make it a bit more vibrant, have you ever colored it?”
Before you know it, she’s mixing the color and preparing the foil. And after too long, you find yourself paying $50 a month maintaining your new hue. So before you commit to a new color, bear in mind the added service will double the cost of keeping up your do.
Buying an electric toothbrush
I’m astonished at the price of grooming products. After all, shampoo is just goop, so why do we pay in the double digits for a liter of the stuff? I can give a bit of allowance for electric toothbrushes, which are outrageously expensive, because the cost to produce them is moderate and I haven’t had a cavity since I start using one.
Don’t drop that shiny new toothbrush in your cart just yet. Take a look at the replacement toothbrush heads. They require replacing every month or two, and cost about $20 each. You might be better off adding a minute to your brushing routine in the morning for that price.
Signing up for a free trial
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. So when credit card companies, banks, retailers, online service providers, or restaurants are offering free incentives, don’t bite. Chances are, in order to obtain the free gift, you have to sign something that indicates you’ll pay a fee unless you later cancel your participation, which let’s be honest, you’ll never remember to do. Cooperative companies like Amazon will refund the cost of membership when you forget to cancel your Prime account when the free trial was up, but others stand firm that you should pay what you agreed to. Was the free T-shirt worth it?
What purchase ended up costing more than you planned? Tell me in the comments or tweet me!