Friday, February 22, 2008

Daily Quote: Milton Friedman on Freebies & 5 Free Merchandise Traps

"There's no such thing as a free lunch." -- Milton Friedman

Beware of free samples. Many so-called give-aways are gift wrapped with lots of strings.
Here are 5 Traps to Avoid When Considering Freebies

1. The Guilt Factor: The sweet salesperson with a tray of free ice cream samples smiles as you take the free treat and perhaps a second or third taste. You feel guilty and make a purchase. Consider this post: Friday Freebie Tip: My Inner Diva Sips Free Tea at the Mall

2. The Free Makeover/Free In-store Lesson: Your favorite store offers a free makeover or a free lesson about bathroom renovations. There are no strings attached and no purchase is necessary. But after the demonstration, you feel obligated to buy something.

3. The Free Restaurant Coupon: You have a coupon for a free entree. Because you don't have to pay for that part of the meal, you really, really overspend on beverages, desserts and side dishes. When the bill arrives, your so-called free meal costs a large fortune.

4. The BOGO TRAP: Buy-One/Get-One Free offers are often alluring. But what's the point of getting a second set of sunglasses/sweaters/pants for free when you have to pay way too much for the first item?

5. The Spoiled for Life Snare: I was fine without a weekly French manicure for my nails and then I received a salon manicure as a gift. Wow! The sight of my buffed and painted fingers became an expensive addiction. I wanted a steady 10-finger fix. It took me nearly two years to kick that addiction. Fortunately, I found a frugal kit for DIY French manicures and then I just surrendered to the as-is look.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach: How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere!, which will be published in June of 2008 by DPL Press.

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