Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Do the Math

By Suzanne O'Connor

I was an idiot with Math. All thru school I was always in the basic, rudimentary Math & Algebra classes. Truth is, math scared me. It was pure terror to me.

But I went thru a school district that wouldn’t let my fear get in the way and eventually mastered enough of it to get into college.

I then didn’t really use it again for years until I started working with my Mom and had to figure out percentages in my head while researching discount outlets.

Looks like most people don’t use their math skills to figure out savings anymore. We rely on our devices or rely on others to tell us what the savings are. Rare is the exceptional person who can figure it out in their head without a calculator.

Hello… retailers know that and bank on your believing what they tell you. They often cover their tracks with “Up To”. It’s done so often that it’s an accepted practice.

If a store sale sign says “Up to 60% off”, all they need is one item that is at that discount to make that claim. The rest of the items on sale can be as low as 10% off. … which barely covers sales tax in California.

That’s why I always try to make manufacturers tell me the pricing. It adds clarity and validates sales discounts.

When looking at the numbers, I tend to round up or down and figure it out in increments of 10. Dividing or Multiplying to figure out the percentages of savings.

This year I have seen more sample sales under estimating their discounts and more discount outlet stores over estimating than in previous years.  Go figure.

Which is the point… All of us have to figure out the discounts ourselves to make sure you’re getting the deal they claim we are. 

Could be time to brush up on your basic math skills.

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