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Discounts, Freebies, Coupons, and Special Offers

Now that we finally got rid of the TV advertising and bloodied yard signs from the election, now we have to deal with the inundation of discounts, freebies, coupons and special offers from retailers.

With unemployment hitting 6.5% and consumer sentiment at rock bottom, the crucial holiday selling season for retailers is predicted to be the worse since 1991. Experts are looking for a 1.7% increase over last year. I think retailers would be happy being even.

As consumers, what do we value most? It used to be customer service. Other factors included convenience, location, brands offered, return policy, and value/price.

What do you value most?

Discounts are good because they give immediate satisfaction. You know you are not paying list price. The problem is you never know if you are getting the "best" discount.

Freebies are good but then we are getting more "stuff" than we originally shopped for. Buy 1 bag of chips and get another for free is great but you end up eating more chips.

Coupons are good because you get instant savings after doing all the work of clipping, storing and presenting them before expiration. The issue with coupons is that you have to remember to use them.

And we all love special offers. These are time sensitivity based so you have to act quickly to take advantage of them. The most popular of all are the day after Thanksgiving sales (I think Wal-Mart will start at midnight this year). The issue with special offers is that if you are too busy, then you can't take advantage of them.

I love ELP (everyday low price) best. Wal-Mart and Costco adhere to ELP most of the time. We would love to adhere to ELP if our suppliers would let us so we do discounts and freebies.

So with Christmas shopping right around the corner, besides what you value most, what is on your shopping list? Hint: Gift cards are rated the #1 gift this season and are never discounted or given away. Go figure.

Happy Friday!


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