Shopping For A Bargain Can Cost More Than Buying New

Buying a bargain because the cost is cheaper than buying new has proved a false economy for thousands of shoppers.

One in three consumers regret not shelling out a few extra pounds to buy new, according to a survey from Sainsbury’s Bank.

Paying car and home insurance premiums monthly was another regret for 29% of shoppers who found the deal more expensive than a deal paid up-front.

Other financial bugbears included:

  • Searching for cheap flights only to find reserving a seat cost extra (15%)
  • Running an older car when a newer model would have turned out cheaper (14%)
  • Having to buy an extra baggage allowance at an airport after failing to book enough luggage space (11%)
  • Paying a tradesman to finish a botched DIY project (9%)

Double the price

The research found that many shoppers pay double the price of a new item when buying cheap to save money.

Repairs averaged £214 to patch up a poorly car or £150 to service an old boiler, which led 37% of shoppers regretting their purchase, while 44% believed buying cheap would save them money.

Jerome Fernandez, head of credit cards at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “If you are considering significant outlays this year on items that need fixing, it is worthwhile weighing up the initial cost versus any ongoing costs. You could save more money in the long run by investing in a new item upfront.

“A 0% credit card, can enable you to pay an item up without having to find the initial lump sum, just make sure you clear the spend before the offer ends.”

Beware credit card purchases

Take care if buying on a 0% credit card.

Shoppers should make sure they know what monthly repayments to expect and that they are affordable. If deciding to buy on credit, make sure the regular payments are kept up before any offer period on the card ends.

Also check the seller accepts credit cards.

Financial expert and editor and founder of, Jasmine Birtles, said: “We all do it. We think we’re getting a bargain or being a bit clever with our purchase and then we find that we’ve bought something that was too cheap and it broke.

“We can’t get it right all the time but if we’re able to take a breath, step back for long enough to think it through learning from mistakes we can usually work out if it could be better value in the long-run to buy something new.”

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