Don't get scammed by the back-to-school deals

Posted at 10:16 AM, Aug 13, 2018

As you head to the stores for your back-to-school shopping, you may get suckered into buying items marked down as a sale. But there are a few things you should know before shopping if you want to save money.

Jeff Kreisler, editor and chief of People Science, says in order to be a smart shopper, you have to pay attention to the "decoy price."

“If something has three different versions," explains Kreisler. "The top version is too expensive, the bottom version is too cheap, and because we don’t really know how to value it, we chose what’s in the middle.”

That middle item is not always the best deal. Also, don't get suckered into buying the newest item, which is usually overpriced. 


“Don’t go based upon what they tell you it use to be or should be," suggests Kreisler. "Think about what’s it worth to you, whether you want to spend money on that item or save it and use it for something else.”

And don't sweat the small stuff. If your colored pencils are 50 cents more than you would like to pay, in the end, that won't break the bank. However, you should pay attention to not over spending on big ticket items, like tablets. 

That's where Kreisler believes shoppers go wrong.

“Online shopping has a lot of particular pitfalls because they make the experience so easy," says Kreisler. "When something is easy to do, it means you don’t really think about it. And when you don’t think about where you’re spending, we don’t consider if we should.”

Remember, you don't have to buy everything now. Back-to-school items aren't just offered in the month of August. You can buy pencils, notebooks and glue sticks anytime of the year.