Hurry – Last Days!

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.

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Comments

  1. says

    As part of this whole ploy, at the checkout they don’t just ring up the sale price. They first charge you the full price, then the supposed discount is entered and before she hands you the receipt the checkout clerk, with a big smile, circles what they want you to think you **saved** to further feed the shopping addiction.

    Grocery stores are notorious for this – maybe other stores as well, I don’t know since I do so little shopping. But I always have to resist the urge to respond: “It ain’t what I saved, darlin’. It’s what I spent that counts.”

    • says

      Totally agree Kathy. They have started doing that here in Australia. The savings are usually in red on the screen, giving the impression that you have saved a small fortune, which realistically is not the case.

      Gav x

  2. says

    May be I’m stating the obvious but there’s a huge difference between you saying you’re closing your blog down and some useless shop is closing down. I’m every interested in what you have to say whereas I don’t give a shit about places such as DFO’s.

    My point? Don’t go saying you’re closing down your blog. You gave me a right fright. Bad, bad Gavin.

    Despite nearly ruining my night you are spot on, as usual :-)

  3. says

    We bought a television 30% off and then went to gloat at another store to see what we had saved and the price was the same as our 30% “Genuine reduction” price! Way to make you feel gipped Harvey Normans! Won’t be shopping with Gerry the racist ever again!

  4. says

    Minor heart attack here too. Profoundly glad you are not closing your blog.
    I’m already a non-shopper. I pledged last year to buy second hand wherever possible. If there is something I truly need, the price won’t stop me (although I do still search for a bargain of course). It’s very liberating to not be awaiting the next sale or constantly searching out shop bargains.

  5. Liz says

    Theh funny thing is, I completely ignore the “sale” signs etc. I live far enough out of town, I don’t get the junk mail etc. I don’t own (or desire to own) a TV. As a result I am not bombarded with media messages telling me what I want.

    When I am ready with cash to by the item/s I am looking for, I have already scouted around the internet to get a rough idea of price. The end result is I know what I can pay before I already get to the shops and if the price is less than budgeted, well that’s great for me. If not, well it’s no great loss.

    Spotlight is one of the worst when it comes to keeping an eye on the price per metre that is on the roll and making sure it is the same price per metre that comes up on the register. It is irritating when a roll of fabric was on the clearance shelf is not coming up on the register as such. I just don’t buy the fabric then. I’m not rewarding spotlight for sloppy placement of fabrics!

    Liz.

  6. says

    Hey Gavin, a word on your post from Belgium. (It does exist!)
    My mom told us when we were younger that advertising in papers or on tv is crap because if a product is ok it will sell itself. The fact that advertisers are trying to convince you from buying their stuff proves it’s not ok. You don’t need it! Anno 1970.
    The only thing we bought in shops were clothing or toiletpaper or stuff like that you can’t fix yourself.
    All the rest came straight from the garden. Buying vegetables? Never heard of.
    My parents still live this way and hey, they are fine you know.
    They really don’t miss anything.

  7. says

    @Liz
    You are very right I think.
    Ignoring the ‘SALE’-signs is exactly my wife and I do. We go to the shop to put in the basket exactly what we need, nothing else; we just don’t look for it. We don’t care.
    We lived without tv form more than 10 years, nothing wrong with that. We don’t need it. Of course, children, and school that want them to watch the daily news and other stuff. If we had not had children than no tv either.
    We are convinced that people can be perfectly happy withocut possessing anything. Probably even more happier. And that’s what it’s all about, being truly happy, content.

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