December 13, 2023 | Miles Brucker

12 Things You Should Never Pay Full Price For

12 Things You Should Never Pay Full Price For

Cash and ladies shopping split image

It’s easy to say, we all love a good bargain. Some items are almost always available at a discount, usually due to market dynamics as they run the risk of losing their value quickly.

Today’s world is consumer-driven—which means paying full price is often the new norm. However, being patient and shopping smart can save you a ton of money over time.

When you consistently utilize coupons, deals and discount, or even opt for second-hand, the savings can add up quickly.

But does it really make a difference?

How Much Can You Really Save?

Young man wearing black shirt is holding money.Tima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

Think of it this way: if you save just $10 on a purchase every week, that adds up to over $500 in a year. That could be enough for a weekend trip, or to bulk up an emergency fund.

As well, avoiding the full price doesn’t mean compromising on quality. It’s simply about making the most of every dollar spent.

Smarter shopping habits are not just about short-term gains; if done correctly, they can make a huge difference on future financial health as well.

Let’s explore 12 things you should consider buying on sale, and some tips on how to score a good deal.


A couple looking to buy a carrh2010, Adobe Stock

Did you know that cars actually depreciate quickly within the first year? They say you lose a significant amount of value simply driving it off the lot.

The good news is, you can save a lot by simply buying last year’s model.

Average price (brand new): $40,000 (this can vary significantly based on the model and brand).

Savings: You can save up to 20-30% by purchasing a year-old model.


I don't work hereUnsplash

With the amount of used book stores, thrift shops, and libraries, there really isn’t much reason to buy any books brand new.

Brand new books are significantly pricier than used. And most used retailers offer books in great condition for a fraction of the price.

Average price (brand new): $30 for hardcovers.

Savings: Up to 50% or more.


A young Apple sales assistant talks to a customerpcruciatti, Shutterstock

These days, technology products update and upgrade frequently, leading to older models being discounted. It would be smart to shop during sales, buy refurbished, or choose a slightly older model.

Average price (brand new): A smartphone can be around $800.

Savings: 15-30% on older models.



Fashion often repeats itself. What’s out of style today could be back in style tomorrow. Why pay full price when you can find the same quality items for less?

Consider shopping out-of-season, clearance racks, or outlet stores.

Average price (brand new): Jeans might cost $50.

Savings: Often 30-70% during end-of-season sales.


Dodged A BulletShutterstock

Furniture retailers rotate their stock often to keep things fresh—this means frequent sales. Always watch for that red ticket, indicating a deal. Look for clearance sales, buy floor models, or try negotiating with the salesperson.

Average price (brand new): A sofa can be $1,000+.

Savings: At least 20-50% on floor models or during sales.

Exercise Equipment

Kate Hudson FactsShutterstock

Exercise equipment is something that many people buy with good intentions, but then end up not using. Their loss is your gain. Rather than buy brand new, save significantly by buying used, or during off-season sales.

Average price (brand new): A treadmill might be $800.

Savings: Up to 50% when buying second-hand.


Instant KarmaShutterstock

Mattress stores are notorious for high mark-ups. But this also means that their sales are significant when they do happen. Wait for a holiday and take advantage of the deals, or try negotiating with the salesperson.

It might even be possible to ask for a free set of sheets, or a bedframe thrown in at a discount.

Average price (brand new): $1,000 for queen-sized.

Savings: 20-30% during promotional events.


Man looking for wedding ring in jewelry store.Daniel Jedzura , Shutterstock

Jewelry is another item that is known for high mark-up prices. But again, this means negotiation holds more power.

In addition, Jewelry sales can result in substantial savings if you catch the right promotion. Consider buying during holiday sales, or choose simpler designs.

Average price (brand new): An engagement ring might average $5,000.

Savings: 10-50%, especially on custom pieces.


Toys, MatthewPixabay

As most of us know, kids outgrow toys rather quickly. They lose interest, or lose parts easily too. Consider shopping after holidays for the best sales, or buying second-hand.

Average price (brand new): $20 for popular toy brands.

Savings: Up to 70% during post-holiday sales.


Smelling perfumes.Getty Images

Believe it or not, the price difference for perfume between retail and online is huge. It’s recommended to browse online before going in-store. You may even find discount retailers online.

Average price (brand new): $80 for designer brands.

Savings: 20-40% when shopping online.

Software and Apps

Vin Diesel FactsShutterstock

Software companies often have promotions, and deals for bundling. Ask for student or corporate discounts, or wait for holiday sales.

Average price (brand new): A software suite might be $200.

Savings: Up to 50% during sales or with student discounts.

Musical Instruments

Bettie Page FactsPixabay

Instruments are another one of those things that people purchase with good intentions, and then give up on learning and sell them. Brand new, instruments can be quite costly.

Check local classifieds, thrift stores to buy used, or even consider renting before committing to purchasing.

Average price (brand new): A beginner's guitar might be $200.

Savings: Up to 50% or more when buying used.

Final Thoughts

A person holding a jar of coinsTowfiqu barbhuiya, Pexels

With the rising costs of literally everything these days, it’s beneficial to be aware and proactive when shopping. Doing so can save you a huge amount of money.

While the allure of brand-new items can be tempting, it’s important to consider the actual value these items bring against their cost.

Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself of new things, but about making informed decisions that meet with your financial goals.



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Dear reader,

It’s true what they say: money makes the world go round. In order to succeed in this life, you need to have a good grasp of key financial concepts. That’s where Moneymade comes in. Our mission is to provide you with the best financial advice and information to help you navigate this ever-changing world. Sometimes, generating wealth just requires common sense. Don’t max out your credit card if you can’t afford the interest payments. Don’t overspend on Christmas shopping. When ordering gifts on Amazon, make sure you factor in taxes and shipping costs. If you need a new car, consider a model that’s easy to repair instead of an expensive BMW or Mercedes. Sometimes you dream vacation to Hawaii or the Bahamas just isn’t in the budget, but there may be more affordable all-inclusive hotels if you know where to look.

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