January 21, 2009

"Sale" Isn't Necessarily So

What seems quirky about this display at my corner pharmacy?

The bath tissue is discounted two cents from its regular price of $12.99. It must be resulting in higher sales of this product, else the store would not have set up the display just inside the front door. (Maybe there's a kickback from the manufacturer for this blast-vertising, not-really-a-sale display. I couldn't say, not being familiar with retail /distributor /manufacturer practices.)

Retailers and their consumer-psychologist consultants understand and thus aim to exploit shoppers' Pavlovian instincts upon seeing the word "sale." Especially in red or yellow lettering. The sign caught my eye.

Don't miss the fine print: you must present a customer card to qualify for that two-cent discount.
Some consumer psychologists would propose the visual SALE! stimulates a response in your brain. Maybe it's like pushing a little mental happy button, foreplay to getting into your wallet.

7 comments:

  1. Funny. I tried to buy something in CVS yesterday that was on "sale" for 1/3 less than the regular price but when I got to the counter they told me I needed a CVS card to get the sale price. No budging. I hate that. So I walked out. That is one thing I really like about Trader Joes. The prices are simply the prices.

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  2. I love the 'going out of business' sales that last for months :)

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  3. The cottonelle is part of an ECB offer. You'll earn $4 for your next shopping trip.

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  4. That's like when I had a laugh in Walmart today - Diet Coke 12-packs were on "sale" for $3.66; when I read the regular price below it said $3.88 (lol)

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  5. Tanya, Thanks for the comment...I actually did get the tissue and collected the $4 ECB, but I still thought the whole thing was odd for those out there who do not use CVS cards--and many of my friends do not.

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  6. Yeah, I notice this in the grocery store and Target a lot. Pesonally, I really do look for sale signs, because I try not to buy ANYTHNG full price. But if I'm on my game, I check the original price too to see if I'm really getting a deal. And when I'm REALLY on my game, I know how much I'd pay somewhere else, so I REALLY know whether to buy. Like for toilet paper I would aim for a sale price of 25 cents a roll (if I can't get it free through an ECB or Catalina deal) so this would be right out.

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  7. Not only do you get the ECB back if you have the card, but that pack has an extra 4 rolls in it. While I still did not think it was a great deal, those who are brand loyal to that brand would think it was with other coupons.
    The trick to saving money is knowing the value of your money and what you would pay else where for the item you want.

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