So here are a few observations on recent experiences of mine. Please learn from my mistakes!
Be sure to check the fine print! I have been in need of new tennis shoes for a while, but I haven't seen a good sale on the particular ones I want. I normally order through Joe's New Balance, and my shoes finally went on sale for $39.99 + shipping totally $47.08. Going through Shopathome was going to get me a percentage back as well - so I was satisfied with that price and about to make my purchase (as in, about to hit "confirm") when I decided to check eBay. Sure enough, I found a pair of the same tennis shoes - advertised as brand new - for a total of $40.15 shipped! I liked the idea of saving $7, so I went for it. Amazingly, I ordered my shoes on Saturday and they arrived today - from Washington State! I was shocked and so excited...until I opened the package. I was outraged that one of the shoes looked worn. It was very subtle, but little bits of dirt on the bottom and just a slight look of wear on the inside. I took tons of pictures, ready to send them to the seller and demand a refund and for him to pay for me to ship them back! Thank goodness I decided to look at the original listing before contacting him, because right there in big bold print it said "WITH DEFECTS"! It even had pictures of just about everything that I took pictures of - and spelled out that this was a store display and that the right shoe had been tried on in the store (that's why it looked worn but the left shoe didn't)! How did I miss this? Now that I know the story and that the seller was 100% up-front, I've cooled off and I think it will be fine to keep the shoes. But I just got so excited about getting a better deal that I overlooked a very important aspect and almost made a complete fool of myself! So read the fine print!!!!
Do not wait until the last day/hour of the sale and expect to find what you're looking for! I waited until Saturday evening to go to Rite Aid last week to get the Cascade that I was hoping to find on sale for $4.99/bottle. I was planning to get 2 bottles - only to find that they had NO bottles! I was so bummed that they didn't have any, but also mad at myself for waiting until the last minute! Now I'm in a situation that I constantly tell coupon newbies not to allow themselves to get in: a state of need! I'm out of dish washing detergent and the kind I want isn't on sale this week, so I'm going to have to pay whatever the going rate is! This is so frustrating to me! I am now totally at the mercy of whatever the stores are charging for it this week because I'm in a need situation! So the lesson that you should all take away from this is: do not wait to get something until you need it because you loose your bargaining power!