Well, the Holidays are now well behind us, and we’re all looking forward to a New Year filled with new experiences and opportunities.
Looking back at the “fog” of the Holiday gift-buying frenzy, I’m sure that at least one purchase stands out as a particular “score” on the Bargain Meter. I’m not immune to the temptation of a little ego-massage on my ability to spot a bargain and seize an opportunity to save a bit of my hard-earned money.
Yet, more and more, I’m becoming skeptical of even my own ability to optimize my shopping dollar. “One Day Sales” that happen every other day, and coupons that promise 65% discounts week after week have become the norm, and I sometimes wonder- “what’s real and what is just a ploy to make me feel good about getting a perceived deal.”
Indeed, in our particular industry, abuses abound – in particular by National Retailers (read the N.Y. Attorney General’s Report) where weekly claims of unbelievable and unrealistic discounts appear weekly. We’re all expected to believe that a business model actually exists that allows a company to function at a 65% discount 52 weeks a year!
It might be time for a little reality check now, and to realize that “Big Retail” has simply exploited our desire for a bargain and taken it to an almost absurd level. Indeed, it’s almost gotten to the point where you feel stupid for shopping without the ubiquitous coupon offering you unbelievable savings!
The take away, I guess, would be to shop smart and always trust your instincts. Remember the old adage “if it seems too good to be true……..”, and trust that you are probably most likely to be getting a real Sale at small independent shops (like ours!) where a Sale is happening to legitimately clear out seasonal merchandise or to stimulate sluggish cash flow. Believe me – Mom & Pop stores are all way too busy to be playing the “mark-it-up-so-we-can-market-it-down” game.