4 Heavily Discounted Goods: What You Should Never Buy at Full Price

There are some items you should simply never pay full price for. Not only can you find these items on sale frequently throughout the year, but it many cases you can also negotiate a deal for them or find them at a cheaper price by comparison shopping.

Mattresses
Whether you're buying a new mattress because your old one is so worn out that it's ready to walk off the platform by itself, or you're simply looking for a new model that will give you a better night's sleep, never pay full price -- there are plenty of mattress deals, even on name brands, to be found.

Pass any mattress store, and you'll probably see a big, red sale sign in the window -- mattresses, which have at least a 70% mark-up price, are most always on sale and retail even cheaper on holiday sale days, including Black Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Presidents Day.

Consumer Reports, for example, states in its Mattress Buying Guide that if you wait for a mattress sale, you can save at least 50% off the list price, but buyers should be cautious about pulling out their wallets right away, because a deal on a mattress isn't always what it seems.

Consumer Reports points out that mattress manufacturers "modify innerspring mattresses for different sellers, changing the color, padding, quilting, and pattern." So that mattress with a blue cover that you fell in love with may be cheaper at a different store -- it just has a different name, and that blue cover is white.

Mattress prices also have price tags that can be negotiated. Forbes listed it as one of five things that consumers can haggle for because mattress salespeople are paid on commission and given the authority to negotiate. And after your move them down on a price for the mattress, ask for free delivery and removal of your old mattress.

Appliances
If you're looking for a high-end dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer, or one that will just get the job done, be sure to scour advertisements and the Web for the best deal, because they are at your fingertips.

Appliance sales, like mattress deals, can always be found on holidays.

For example, a Maytag Centennial 7-cubic-foot dryer this past Black Friday was selling for $399 at Lowe's and this month is selling at the same store for $100 more.

The same is true of dishwashers. On Black Friday, Sears offered a Kenmore Elite 24-inch, built-in stainless steel dishwasher for $699. That same dishwasher in February was retailing for $899, a $200 difference. Since you'll only be buying appliances once every few years (hopefully), you're best off buying on a big sale day.

The price of appliances can also be negotiated. After speaking with buyers, Consumer Reports found that 75% of those who haggled over a price of an appliance where able to talk the salesperson down, saving, on average, $100 for a major appliance and $50 on small appliances.

Appliances are also items that often come with mail-in rebates. For example, Lowe's lists current manufacturer rebates on its website, including a rebate for a General Electric oven for $1,000.

Designer handbags
They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend, but in some cases, it is a designer bag that's her real matchless sidekick. But, like diamonds, designer handbags are costly, retailing in the thousands of dollars, but it isn't necessary to pay full price for that perfect, authentic clutch.

A number of designers, including Michael Kors and Coach, stock outlet stores full of bags that can be purchased not only at a discount, but also at an even lower price when you present a coupon.

The designers themselves also offer end-of season sales, slashing prices. And bags can also be found for 20% off on certain websites, including Overstock.com.

And if you're OK with buying a used designer bag, there are a number of high-end consignment shops that sell hardly used designer bags at half the price.

Furniture
It doesn't matter if you're in the market for a new couch, armchair, or kitchen or dining room table -- you can find it at a discounted price.

The price you pay for your new furniture can be negotiated with salespeople, and you can find deals on major holiday shopping days, as well as throughout the year.

In fact, Consumer Reports indicates that the best time to buy indoor furniture is during February, a month that furniture retailers most often release new items and older items are marked down from, in some cases, a 200% mark-up.

Using a simple online search or a price-comparison app, you will find that any furniture item can be found for a cheaper price. A La-Z-Boy Acme Arcadia chocolate microfiber recliner armchair, for example, can be purchased for $210.27 at Amazon.com, $179 at Wal-Mart, or $223.99 at AMB furniture.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 12:53 PM, KayakerRW wrote:

    One of the best financial decisions I made in my early 20's was to subscribe to Consumer Reports and use their advice before making any major purchase.

    Doing so left me with more money to invest, fewer repair bills, and more money and time to enjoy life.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 1:00 PM, Mega wrote:

    "In fact, Consumer Reports indicates that the best time to buy indoor furniture is during February"

    I disagree. The best time to buy furniture is when you're inside Ikea.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 3:01 PM, easyt81 wrote:

    #5 - A subscription to Consumer Reports

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2014, at 3:09 PM, SaraWang wrote:

    Never buy an automobile at full price, IMO. Use Car Max or True Car to find them for cheaper.

    In fact, I don't even think that buying a new car is a smart decision. New cars these days have higher MPG (you can fill up for less than $20 with GasBuddy), insurance discounts (insure for less then $30/month with Insurance Panda), and there are tax deductions (depending on the car you buy), also they are safer :)

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