‘Tis the season for holiday shopping and some of the best deals of the year! Today, we will learn some English vocabulary related to shopping deals that you are sure to see in the US this holiday season and throughout the year!
A deal refers to the process of trading. In shopping, you trade your money for a product. When you make this trade agreement, you are making a deal. When discussing shopping deals, the word “deal” is usually preceded by an adjective. You can get a good deal or a bad deal, a great deal or an awful deal.
Example: I got a great deal on this sofa.
A bargain is a good deal. It means that something is a good price for the value.
Example: Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
In English, we use the saying “it’s a steal” to mean that something is such a good deal that you’re practically stealing it from the store. In Portuguese, it’s similar to the word “pechincha.” Be careful not to confuse it with the saying “Foi um roubo” which is the equivalent of “It was a ripoff” in English.
Example: I can’t believe how cheap those glasses were! They were practically a steal!
A discount is when an item’s price is marked down. If a pair of jeans normally sells for $60 but is now selling for $40, we would call the $40 price the discounted price. In Portuguese, the equivalent is “desconto.”
Example: I love a good discount!
Anytime a store sells an item, they are making a sale. However, we say that a store is “having a sale” whenever some or all of the items in the store are being sold at discounted prices.
If an item is “for sale”, it means that it is available to purchase.
The house across the street is for sale.
If an item is “on sale”, it means that it is discounted.
The coat I’ve been wanting is finally on sale!
The grocery store is having a sale on potatoes.
A promotion is another way for saying that a store is having a sale on one or more products.
Example: There’s a promotion going on right now. If you buy a computer, you get a printer for $10.
A doorbuster is a marketing term to emphasize the fact that a deal is SO good that customers will want to break the doors down in order to take advantage of this deal. Stores typically only use this term a couple times a year when they want to show that their deal is too good to miss.
(No example sentence for these next few words since usually it’s just a sign in a storefront or in promotional advertising.)
BOGO is an acronym that stands for “Buy one, get one.” Usually, it means buy one, get one FREE but not always! You may see BOGO 50% (Buy one, get one 50% off) or BOGO for $1 (Buy one, get one for $1). In this instance, you are paying for the first item at full price and receiving the second item at the discounted price.
Early Bird Special
This is a special kind of deal that is given only to early shoppers. It is common to see early bird specials utilized on Black Friday to encourage customers to shop in the morning. For example, a store may be open from 5am to 11pm with the early bird special happening from 5am to 9am. Restaurants also commonly use this type of promotion. In addition to early hours, early bird specials can also refer to days. Event tickets may have early bird pricing for those who buy their tickets before a certain date.
Some stores will offer a rebate as a form of promotion. Of all the different types of deals, rebates are the biggest hassle. Let’s look at an example. A blender that normally costs $200 might be on sale for $180 after a $20 mail-in rebate. With a rebate, the customer purchases the item at full retail price ($200) and then takes the receipt and either has to go online to fill out the rebate form, or fill out a paper form and mail it in. The company will then mail the customer back a check for $20.
Example: Twenty dollars off blenders after mail-in rebate.
Rain checks are seen most commonly in grocery stores. When a store has a sale going on, and they sell out of that item, a customer may ask the store to issue them a rain check. This rain check allows the customer to come back to the store when the item is back in stock and purchase it at the promotional price, even if the promotion is no longer going on.
Example: I’ll take a rain check.
This example sentence is used as an expression in English when someone offers to do something that we don’t want to (or can’t) do now, but would like to do later.
Coupons may be in the form of print (a paper) or digital (a code). A coupon allows a customer to receive a special discounted price only if they have the code or paper. Coupons place limitations on promotions in various different ways. They limit the amount of people who have access to a promotional price. They limit the amount of time people have access to the promotional price by use of an expiration date. They may vary from person to person. They can limit the quantity of items an individual can purchase at the promotional rate. They may establish minimum order quantities necessary to utilize the promotion.
Example: Do you have any coupons?
Now you’re ready to go shopping in the United States! Leave us a comment to let us know which words were new for you and share this with your friends who are learning English and love to shop!