Bloomberg -1.49% It may seem like you could just buy a pair of jeans at Target or Walmart for $50.
But that could turn out to be a big mistake.
The big-ticket items you buy in big-box stores are often a big-money mistake, said Stephen T. Rabinowitz, president of the consulting firm RetailSource, a unit of the investment firm TPG Capital Markets.
These items may be high-margin items but they can cost you more than they’re worth, he said.
“They could be the most expensive item on the list, but you can’t see the price because it’s too big.”
When you buy a dress for $400, it could be worth $800, Rabinovitz said.
But when you buy that dress for an extra $200, it might cost you $600.
That’s because the price tag increases when you factor in inflation.
“If you were to put the same dress in a discount store, the markup could be $200 to $800.
The cost of that dress would be more than the markup on the dress,” he said, adding that most of the items in big box stores are not worth the money they cost.
Some of these items are already getting a boost in price, with prices of the most popular items like jeans, sneakers, jewelry and watches going up.
Rabinowitz also said that if you were paying $250 for a pair, the average retail price is going up, which will hurt your pocketbook and your ability to pay your bills.
“It’s going to make you think twice about spending that money,” he added.
Rabe’s Advice: Don’t buy the same item twice.
You could also be tempted to buy the item twice in a single day.
This is a common mistake that can lead to a high price.
You might find the same piece of jewelry at a big box store for $100 and a new pair at Target for $150.
But the retail price at Target is $300, while the retail cost at Target at home is $100, so you could end up paying $300 for a new piece of clothing at home, according to Rabinowks.
If you’re shopping for a single item, buy the cheapest one first.
That could mean paying $400 for a dress, said Rabinows, but buying the same garment for $600 might not be worth it.
You could end a week of shopping with a $300 dress and $100 pair of shoes.