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The Stupid Deal of the Day: A Cautionary Tale

In today’s age of 24/7 access to information and a never-ending stream of data, it’s easy to get caught up in the mentality that you need to buy now or miss out forever. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is a real phenomenon that can lead otherwise rational people to make hasty decisions they later regret. Case in point: the Stupid Deal of the Day.

What is the Stupid Deal of the Day?

The Stupid Deal of the Day is an online deal (usually found on a site like Groupon or Living Social) that seems too good to be true. And guess what? It usually is. The Stupid Deal of the Day is typically for something that you don’t need, don’t want, and will never use. But because it’s such a good deal, you convince yourself that you need to buy it right away before it sells out. Spoiler alert: it almost never sells out and you’re stuck with a useless product.

Why do we fall for it?

As humans, we are hardwired to react to loss aversion – meaning we are more likely to take action to avoid losing something than we are to gain something of equal value. So when we see a “deal” that is about to expire, our natural instinct is to act fast so we don’t miss out. However, this reaction isn’t always rational – especially when it comes to the Stupid Deal of the Day.

How can you avoid falling for it?

The next time you’re about to click “buy” on a Stupid Deal of the Day, ask yourself these questions first:
– Do I really need this? Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you need it. If you wouldn’t buy it at full price, you probably don’t need it at all.
– Can I return it if I don’t like it? Chances are, the answer is no – so think twice before buying something you know nothing about.
– How long will this take me to use/consume? If the answer is more than a few months, chances are you’re not going to use it at all and it was just a waste of money.
– Is there a possibility this could be harmful? Some “deals” are for products that could be dangerous if used improperly (think: expired cosmetics or unlicensed massages). Avoid these deals at all cost!

The next time you’re thinking about purchasing a Stupid Deal of the Day, think twice! Ask yourself if you really need it, if you can return it, and how long it will take you consume or use the product. Odds are, you’ll save yourself some money – and some regret – by avoiding these types of deals altogether.

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