Are ‘Sale’ items poorer quality?


We all know that one great way to save money is to pick up items in the sale or which are on clearance. I’ve done this a lot over the years and I’m sure you have too. There is one possible downside to this money saving tactic though.

In the sale for a reason

There are a variety of reasons why a product may find itself in the sale booklet. Perhaps it is an old model or the release of a new model is just around the corner. I really don’t mind not having the latest model all the time so I’m quite happy to buy a discounted product for this reason. Another reason could be that an item or range is on special offer as it is now the wrong season to try and sell it, like garden furniture and barbeque equipment during the winter months for example. If you have the patience to store items away until they can be used then there are some great savings to be had here. There is another not so great reason that a product might be on sale though, there are two in fact. It could be that the product has some kind of fault or that it simply isn’t very good, so people haven’t been buying it.

Am I imagining this?

Down to this day I’m not sure if I’m imagining this but whenever I seem to pick up an item of furniture in the sale, it always seems to have some kind of fault with it. Like a missing screw or attachment somewhere, or a piece of wood which has been wrongly cut to size. There have also been electronic items which I’ve bought that just don’t seem to work quite how they should, so I’ve had to return them. Maybe I’m just imagining the issue or wrongly blaming it on the fact that it is a sale item, or perhaps I’ve just been really unfortunate to have been landed with faulty items on a regular basis. I really don’t think I am imagining it though and in my experience most of the sale items I’ve bought – especially furniture and electronic items – just haven’t seemed to be as good as the full priced items.

The one area where there is probably an exception to the rule with this is when it comes to clothing items. You will know as well as I do that fashions and seasons are constantly changing so it is understandable that some good quality items will end up on the clothing sale rails for perfectly legitimate reasons. Even with clothing though there are still occasions where I’ve bought discounted items only to find that they shrink the first time they are washed or they lack in quality in some way. Then there was a recent television program that I watched which explained that some – or we could even say most – of the items which we find on sale at the so called outlet stores have actually been ‘made for outlet’ meaning that they carry the branded logo’s but the quality has been deliberately sacrificed in some way in order to make the product cheaper to buy.

What do you think? Am I imagining this or have you bought poor quality sale items in the past?

7 Responses to Are ‘Sale’ items poorer quality?

  1. Items on sale were quality items a few months back. Most stores just need to get rid of them to make room for the new models. I bought my skis on sale… they were just last year’s model.

    • Adam Buller says:

      Hey MDN. Yeah I definitely agree that some stuff is just end of line and will have no issues at all. I just have a feeling that some things also get put into clearance when the store has noticed some kind of minor problem with a certain model or line. Like I say though, perhaps it’s just my imagination.

  2. Craig Ballantyne says:

    Also different lines of product get put in to clearance because of the season say garden furniture or barbecues.

  3. The thing that scares me is that whether an item is on sale or not, I constantly am buying goods with some sort of flaws in them. And I’m paying full price. I think this a sad state of affairs.

  4. Michelle says:

    I have the same mindset. If it is on sale, there must be something wrong with it.

  5. I don’t think “sale” are low quality. As Milliondollarninja points out, sometimes store just need to get rid of some stock to make room for newer models. If anything, they are a bargain most of the times.

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