Consumers weigh in: what makes something a good deal?

Whether it’s Prime Days, Way Day or one of the many sales associated with a major American holiday such as Memorial Day or July 4, consumers are bombarded with “deal days” during which they are offered promotions and discounts.

But do most consumers feel these “deals” are actually saving them money? A recent USA Today/Ipsos poll revealed that 69 percent of respondents said shopping major retailer holiday deals didn’t help them spend less, while 30 percent did see it a money-saving venture.

The majority – 60 percent – of those shopping on these special holidays made planned purchases, and just 31 percent felt they spent too much money during the promotional period.

To be considered a good deal, about three-quarters of consumers wanted a discount between 10 percent and 49 percent, with that range split evenly among respondents with 38 percent wanting at least 10 percent to 29 percent and the other half opting for the higher range. Almost one-fifth – 19 percent – said a discount of 50 percent or more was required to be labeled a good deal.

Consumers indicated as well that they could be patient if a sale was in the offing. About one-third – 31 percent – said they would wait more than a month to purchase a non-essential item if they could get it on sale at a later date. Another 18 percent would be willing to wait until the next major holiday sale, while just 9 percent would only pause for less than a week.

The survey also delved into the idea of buyer’s remorse as it was tied to sales events and found 42 percent have made a purchase for an item on sale and then later regretted it.

The biggest reason given was that they didn’t really need it, 62 percent; but other regrets included making an impulse purchase, 42 percent; having too much stuff already, 34 percent; and finding it later at a lower price, 19 percent.

More than half – 58 percent – said more than once they’d bought an item on sale, only to find it marked down even further later on.

To avoid buyer’s remorse, 53 percent of respondents would like to be able to do price comparisons across retailers and brands, while nearly as many – 47 percent – believe proper product research would solve the problem.

Other ways to keep regrets at bay included planning in advance, 37 percent; getting price-drop alerts, 28 percent; seeing if a product is priced high, typical or low, 25 percent; and gauging a products price movement over the past 90 days, 25 percent.

The USA Today/Ipsos poll was conducted May 12 to 14 among 1,358 adults 18 and older.

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