If I told you that this blog was closing down in a few days, what you be your reaction? Would it be to read more of it, or urge me to continue writing? Or would it be to wonder about my motivation?
Well, rest assured dear reader. This blog is not closing down; I just wanted to prove a point. This is just another of my observational consumerism posts.
So did you experience an emotional reaction? I know I did by just typing the words!
Let me share a little secret with you. This method of provoking an emotional reaction is a very basic marketing ploy that urges you to buy stuff when you don’t really need it. Others statements similar to this are “xx% off everything”, or “Sale – Limited Time Only”, or even “Closing Down Sale”. From my experience, these are usually false promises, and the mark down in price is not real, neither is the closing down sale. Sales are rarely for a limited time, and most stores have a ‘Sale’ sign in the window all year round.
These false promises are a tool to instil a sense of urgency, or a feeling of missing out on something. The problem is that this tool works on most people and not always in the consumers favour. They walk into the store, and buy a sale item, thinking that they got a bargain when they really have not. Anyone who has worked in the retail sector would have seen this time and time again.
So what was my motivation to write this? Well, my lunchtime walk today was to a Direct Factory Outlet mall, which was anything but. It was designed to appear to be a factory outlet with a polished concrete floor, Spartan fittings, and sale signs everywhere, even a few signs like the title of this blog post. It was just another piece of the marketing con job.
People were obviously engaged with their surroundings, because the dollars were flowing. I spent half an hour browsing a $5 discount bookstore, which had some titles I was interested in, but upon closer inspection, the non-fiction books I looked at were dated and new information had been published. Not worth the paper they were printed on. Others however were buying like there was no tomorrow.
So, to sum it up, the only sale item you really get value for money from is the one you choose not to buy, especially when you didn’t really need it in the first place! If you really are shopping for something that is a need as opposed to want, and looking for the best price, it is probably best to do some on-line research first. Only with prior planning, will you find a truly cost effective item.
If a sale that sounds too good to be true, it usually is.