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Slightly Imperfect, Totally Affordable!

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If you're not a stickler for perfection, you could save a ton of cash on some items discounted because of imperfections in their packaging. Manufacturers can't sell these items for full price because of the defective packages, even though the products themselves are in good condition. If you know where to look, you can bring home slightly imperfect items and spend a third of the money on your groceries, appliances, or furniture. You only have to be willing to overlook the exterior and appreciate the product for its intended purpose.

With food and drink items, the products are exactly the same as their perfect cousins. Appliances and furniture might have signs of a little wear and tear that you might overlook because of the great price or repair later.


There is no reason to spend full price for candy or chocolate when you can get the same sweet flavor at a discount. Large manufacturers run their candy through assembly lines during the packaging process. Sometimes a package is not put on properly, although the candy inside is fine. Famous jellybean producer Jelly Belly markets their "flops," which are jellybeans that are irregular shapes, at less than half the cost of the properly shaped jellybeans.


Hardcover and paperback books are susceptible to all sorts of damage during the shipping process. Books that have been on the shelf for a long time can also sustain extra damage. Many local bookstores will offer these slightly less than perfect books at a substantial savings. The damage is usually limited to creased corners or slight water damage. The books are often perfectly readable. Unless you are a collector who needs to buy a book that is in pristine condition, these slightly damaged or worn copies will supply you with all of the benefits of reading the contents without the high price tag of a brand new book. In fact, the worn or damaged books will probably look just like the rest of the books on your shelf after you've finished reading them.


Many appliance stores offer substantial discounts for scratched or dented products. Look for a clearance section at your local store, or a link to damaged goods on an appliance website. In many cases, the wear and tear comes from an appliance displayed on the sales floor. Some of the dings and scratches could happen as the product leaves the manufacturer. If you are willing to live with the blemishes, you could save almost half of the cost of a new appliance. Make sure the appliance is still under manufacturer's warranty before you make your purchase.


Much like appliances, furniture can receive wear and tear simply from being displayed on the sales floor. When the wear becomes obvious, the furniture stores can no longer charge full price for the item. The pieces might get scratched or dinged, but they are otherwise perfectly good furniture. You can save as much as 40% of the regular price when you choose to live with a slight imperfection. If the floor model is not already marked down, negotiate with the salesperson to get a better price. Usually they are willing to work with you to sell the item and make room for something new.


A common problem during wine shipments is that some of the bottles will break. Broken bottles splash wine all over the unbroken bottles near them in the shipment. Once the wine label becomes soiled with wine from another bottle, the store can't sell the wine at full price. Websites like purchase these otherwise perfect bottles of wine and sell them at dramatic discounts to people who don't care how the label looks as long as the wine still tastes like it should. You might be able to find a deal on a bottle of wine with a damaged label through your local shop if you ask the owner.

Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email Thanks!


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