Squirreling Gone Wild #31: The Surprise 90% Discount

Did you get any great deals during the recent holiday shopping?

This year, I tried to buy things that were on sale. Which I did for the most part, except for some toys for kids. For other shopping, I tried to take advantage of either discounted prices or gift cards.  Including in this “other” shopping category is stuff I bought for me. Yes, I did a little bit of holiday shopping for myself!

You just know you’ll find the items I purchased to be incredibly exciting. I mean, who couldn’t get excited over a purchase of socks? :) OK, it’s not too exciting, I agree. Admittedly, I didn’t exactly go overboard shopping for myself this holiday season. That was it for self indulgence – absolutely everything else was for others, which is probably how it should be anyway.

That being said, this ended up being my best bargain purchase, and I think it qualifies as another example of Squirreling Gone Wild.

Here’s what happened. I needed to buy some new socks, so while doing some gift shopping before Christmas I came across a nice pack of 3 socks on sale. These were high quality and of a very good brand, and the regular price was $26. Yeah, not cheap. However, they were on sale at 65% off, pack of 3 for $9.10. Does that sound better? It did to me.

It was a good deal, but I just picked up one pack since my hands were full with gifts anyway.  Then, I took all my items to the nearest register, to make my purchase. As I did, there was a line awaiting me. Additionally, the associate behind the counter seemed to be somewhat disinterested in fast service.

Well, after waiting for my turn, I finally got up to the register to pay for my items.  As the associate rang up each item, I watched each price. It’s a habit I have, which I don’t always do but seem to do more often than not. Basically, the benefit is making sure that I’m being charged the right price.

When he got through the other items, and came to the socks, I noticed a price of $2.27 coming up. I then did a double take and asked him what the $2.27 was for, since nothing I bought was at that price. He told me that it was for the socks.

Don’t ask me why, but I actually asked if that was the price per pair of socks. It just came to my mind right way. He looked at me kind of funny (understandably, I’ll admit) and told me that no, that was actually the price for the 3-pack.

Again, I clarified: “$2.27 for the 3-pack?”

“Yes”, he said.

At that point, I felt a wave of excitement. “YES!” I thought, it’s a small shopping victory. Then I felt kind of bad, and told the guy that I thought they were actually priced on sale, 65% off, at $9.10.  I don’t know, it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Nevertheless, the guy again told me that the price was $2.27, since that’s what it was showing up at.

Then, my guilt evaporated and I got excited about taking advantage of this. I asked the guy if he could hold on for just 30 seconds, as I wanted to go run over to the aisle where those socks were, and get some more. There were a few people in line behind me, that did not seem too patient. I felt bad, but I zipped over to that aisle and picked up 2 more 3-packs. Then, I quickly proceeded back to the register, where the guy was patiently waiting and the other customers were seemed slightly restless.

I added the two more socks there, and did the math: $78.00 regular retail price, but I paid $6.81. That’s over 90% off!

As I finished my purchase, the associate and I traded holiday wishes, and I turned and walked away. I flashed a quick, friendly smile at the lady who was patiently waiting behind me in line. Kind of a “happy holidays” type of smile. She didn’t flinch, and didn’t smile back at all.  I guess that extra 30 seconds I took annoyed her.  I wouldn’t have cared if the shoe was on the other foot (or sock, Ha Ha!). Ah, well….what can you do? I hope she had a nice rest of the day at least.

As for me, I got a great deal on things that I actually needed anyway. All while getting a greater than 90% discount. I was pleased:)

My Questions for You

Did you get any great shopping deals this past holiday season?

Have you ever encountered a situation where you thought you might have been undercharged? Did you silently take advantage of it, or did you bring it to their attention?

What would you have done in my situation?



  1. says

    Haha, I usually discover the price mistakes after I get the receipt – and no, I won’t go back inside if it’s in my favor (does that make me a bad person or lazy?). In fact, if it’s slightly in their favor I tend not to go inside, so perhaps maybe I am just lazy?

    • Squirrelers says

      PKamp3 – nah, you’re not lazy – just practical. There’s a time/effort cost to getting back those savings.

  2. Sara says

    My 5 yr old had one of those moments yesterday, she was using her Christmas money to buy a doll for $19 and it rang up for 50% off. She was THRILLED and talked about it all day to everyone who would listen.

  3. says

    Wow. I’ve never been so excited over socks. As I began reading, I though, “Dude, Squirrelers has GOT to get out more!” but then, reading further I’m like “That’s an AWESOME discount!”

    Great ethical choice, btw. It’s now totally off your conscience, because you verified the deal.

    No great deals for me, except we got a free movie when we went to see Hugo last week because the projector kept messing up. Winning!

    • Squirrelers says

      Average Joe – yeah, I thought about that at first when writing about socks, but really thought the discount of more than 90% off was pretty neat and worth sharing! As for your deal – hey, a free movie is pretty good. That’s a total discount!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>