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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Good Advice: Stand strong against Discounts

Two of my favorite bloggers wrote on the same subject recently: Budgeting in the Fun Stuff wrote on succumbing to a "special." This was in response to a post over at Gai Shan Life on being similarly suckered by discounts. Erghhhh. If these two frugal role models succumb to such sales tactics, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Oh, make that three frugal role models. I received a 30% off coupon for Banana Republic. Good May 18. Oh, be still my heart! Luckily, Banana is in the next town, which has become a miserable drive owing to the population increase over the years--with a spike post-Katrina.

Then there is my mother and Chico's. Chico's always has $25.00 of $100.00 or $20.00 off $80.00 coupons. Even my mother, who loves to shop (and return--it's a disease) noticed that your total always comes to JUST UNDER the threshold, so you actually need to spend more. I used to get these coupons from Chico's. I seem to have been removed from the mailing list after I complained about bad customer service. That's OK. Chico's is in the next town too.

Then there is Mr. FS. His only weak spot is Bike Nashbar, which frequently has free shipping if you buy X. Of course, this necessitates much figuring and computing to achieve the optimal purchase.

You have to figure: if the discount is sent to you, it must be good for the company, right? They're not doing you a favor.

Thanks fellow bloggers for the good advice. I am throwing away my 30% off coupon. RIGHT NOW.

10 comments:

Shelley said...

I figure there are levels of frugality. One level is only buying what you NEED. In my experience, coupons for needed items rarely hit the door in a timely manner. Then there is buying what YOU want. I figure the 'discount' coupons are about creating a 'want', one you didn't already have or one you could more frugally satisfy elsewhere. Coupons, as you said, are simply to generate business for the store, not to do you any favours. I often think that if the store could knock 50% or more off the original price, was it ever actually 'worth' the full price? One could perhpas argue, yes, if you bought it and loved it and wore it out it was so wonderful, but that's pretty rare, isn't it? Good move, I think, pitching that paper. I don't think I notice them much anymore.

Duchesse said...

Eric Bompard is currently having a private sale (easy to join on their web site); discount is over 60%, and thank you, EB, I'll take two of your classic v-neck cardis, my fall-winter-spring uniform. This hits all my criteria: something you know and love, will use, at a terrific price. Oh, and great customer service, plus- always fun to get a parcel from France.

But a discount on generic clothes that one does not really need or enjoy- not very appealing.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

No Banana Republic or Chicos here...nothing to tempt me with discounts... I rarley shop online. I like to try things on and feel the fabrics! I guess I save money that way!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--You are a genius--that's it: creating a want. Ditto for the offers that arrive via email.

@Duchesse--So tempting, and I AM tempted, but I don't know how that line is sized. I guess I'll try some on next time I go to France.

@hostess--I like to try on too. It's amazing how little looks good on...and what a pain it is to return items.

BG2.0 said...

What about Bed Bath & Beyond? Coupons for 20% off come with regularity. And really, they never expire despite what the paper says. Sometimes it is $5 off something more than $15. so if you DO need something, math is involved to figure which one to use.
As you have said, thank goodness they are a car ride away because they do have created a 'want' all too often.

metscan said...

I won´t enter a shop, if there is a sale going on. I save by not shopping on sales. I know all too well, that I would react just like any other woman; I would buy something I don´t particularly need nor like, just because the price is reduced. I really want to examine the product first and then pay the price asked. I do admit, that online shopping is fun and easy, but it is awfully difficult to send the stuff back for some reason.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff said...

Thanks for the mention...yep, the coupons create a "want" that wasn't already there. Most of the time they end up in my trash almost immediately, but Zales got me with glitter, lol.

Frugal Scholar said...

@BG2--the BBB coupons never expire, so one doesn't feel compelled to use them right away...or ever. I have about 10 cluttering up a drawer.

@metscan--Your comment about NEVER buying something on sale created a lot of conflict for me. Then I thought about it...maybe then I would buy almost nothing.

@Budgeting--Even the most frugal of us succumb now and again. Hope you like them.

Duchesse said...

Frugal, as I mentioned before, when you made the same comment, Eric Bompard's site has length and width measurements for all garments. Does this mean we're getting old :)

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Oh, I am blushing. My husband says I say the same thing over and over. I guess he's right. Must be because I teach the same material over and over...