Consumers often set a price in their mind to pay for an item, says James Dion, president of Dionco, a Chicago-based retail consulting firm.
"If your eye is on the lowest price when shopping for footwear, apparel or household goods, you can make serious spending mistakes this year," Dion says. "You will overlook smaller packages, (fewer) items in a set and inferior goods that simply won't last or wear as well."
It's a trend that can be tracked, according to Britt Beemer, who found similar results in his 2011 Consumer Track Back-To-School Shopping Survey.
"We found that a troubling 56 percent of people don't notice how an item is made and base their decision solely on price," Beemer says.
"It's very dangerous to be set on a price alone when shopping. Items of high quality may cost more than you dreamed, but you have to remember that one great, high-quality item replaces many mediocre items," says Vicky Oliver, author of "The Millionaire's Handbook."