by Talia León-Villanueva
I bet the sheer title of this blog caused you to open it in the hopes that there may be some amazing coupon that will help you save as much as you possibly can on your holiday shopping.
Every time I turn around I’m getting coupons in the mail and online for incredible percentage-off or BOGOs (Buy One, Get One free). While I’ve never really been a coupon clipper or a budget conscious shopper, lately I find myself getting excited and even bragging about how much I saved. BUT, how much am I really saving?
Macy’s for example has “amazing” deals I can’t resist. I’ve made quite a few jewelry purchases there, all beautiful, good quality items and with savings of more than half the retail value; 50% off, take another 15%, plus my 20% coupon. Before I knew it I was buying an item that retails at $400 for $136 plus tax. WOW!
Now question is; what did I really save? Of course I saved a ton off the retail price. After all, that’s the reason why I ultimately made the purchase. However, the reality is, I wasn’t planning on spending the discounted amount when I stepped up to the jewelry counter. I exceeded my budget because of the spectacular savings. So I didn’t REALLY save at all. This is how they get you. How can anyone resist these huge savings for quality goods?
Growing up in a household with an entrepreneur father, I know the reality of retail mark ups. I’m not even going to get into the percentage an item will go up from wholesale to retail before it will help to offset operational costs. What I will say is, more often than not, with all the savings tallied up, you’re still spending more than the actual cost of the item. After all, we must recognize that stores are not in the business of losing money.
As I continue to think about this savings phenomenon, I then think about the .com stores that provide designer items at insane prices (i.e., Gilt, Hautelook, etc). They also lure customers in with the tactic of massive savings but again, while 60% off sounds amazing, when you’re starting at $600, $240 for a pair of boots isn’t exactly cheap, especially during the holidays when you’re buying for upwards of 20 people.
Lastly, and the ultimate home driver for me is the “gift with purchase” tactic. I can’t tell you how many Lancôme bags and samples I have. All because it’s seemingly “free”. Although I have made very good use of my bags and samples, I’m certain I’ve paid 10 fold on that “free gift”.
All I’m saying is stick to your guns when you’re on a budget and don’t let the incredibly tempting bargains get to you or the aftermath of guilt will weigh you down.
How many purchases have you made outside of your budget because you found the DEAL OF THE CENTURY?
Here is a listing of sales tactics, which one got you?