Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Don't Get Talked Into Bad Deals

When dealing with people on financial matters, it's good to be reasonably knowledgeable about the topic. From my experience, being even somewhat knowledgeable can help one avoid bad deals. In my opinion, scammers and con-artists go after targets that don't appear to know much about personal finance. So if one is not knowledgeable, how does one avoid getting talked into bad deals? Here are some ways I use:

When someone is pressuring. I tell them I need some time to review it with my spouse, parent, or third party advisor. I ask for a contact number where I can get back to them. This allows me to consider the options at my own pace.

When it sounds too good to be true. Ask for documents or a prospectus "to review with your attorney or CPA." In some cases I get the documents, many cases you will not. If I get documents and am truly interested, I find an attorney or CPA to review them. If it is a good deal, the cost will be covered. If it's a bad deal, finding out it is will be worth the cost.

When the deadline is right now. I thank them for the opportunity and tell them no. It likely is a bad deal. I remember attending a seminar for a timeshare. We were offered a great early bird deal of $11,000 if we signed right away. We said no and the salesperson offered a better deal at $8,000. When we said no again, he lowered it to the final price of $6,000 and we said no again.

Being perceived as knowledgeable is good. While there is a very small chance one may miss the deal of a life time, more often than not, one will have just avoided a bad deal.

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back on Wednesday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Mary R. Vogt

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


moneymonk said...

"When the deadline is right now"

oh yes, that is a dead givaway!

My husband and I attended a timeshare in Vegas. So scheme we had to sign right that second, Im like huh?

as you said they kept lowering the price, not by dollars but thousands

crazy people.

Empty Spaces Inc. said...

i probably attended the same timeshare presentation. they started at 25k and ended at 7800!
unfortunately one of my friends bought into it and ended up 20k poorer. sheesh! i could've bought another rental property for that amount!