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Here are some ways businesses try to squeeze more money out of you as you pay for your purchase. Don’t be caught off guard. Just say “no thanks.”

Supersizing Their Profit
Fast-food places, convenience stores and movie theaters offer to “supersize” a meal or drink. You’re supposed to think, “Wow, for just another 50 cents I get so much more.” But you probably don’t need that big a meal or a drink. The business is just getting another 50 cents from you. Over time, that adds up.

Loyalty Cards: Getting You to Spend More
The sales clerk asks: “Are you a member of our frequent shopper club?” She says if you join, you’ll get a $10 discount after you buy 10 items.

  • If you have to pay any money to join, it’s not a good idea. You’re definitely out the money you pay, and you might not earn enough points to earn your “prize.”

  • Even if it’s free to join, you might be tempted to buy things just to earn points. That’s good for the store, not you.

Service Contracts: Expensive Protection You Don’t Need
When you buy a stereo, computer or appliance, the salesperson may ask: “Do you want to buy our extended service plan?” He says that for “just $29.99" you can get a plan that pays for repair or replacement if the item breaks down within three years.

Usually these plans are profitable for the business, but not for you. The manufacturer may already give you a warranty on the item. Plus, many electronic items last a long time and don’t break down within the first few years that these plans cover. Save the $29.99. The best “insurance” is to buy good-quality items that have a good reputation for not breaking down.

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