i received an offer in my inbox recently that i would receive a free product if i made a purchase from a particular web site. without much hesitation i leaped over to the site to see if there was anything i needed/wanted. in reality, i just sort of wanted that free product. so it occurred to me that if i wanted the product, i could just use the money the site wanted me to spend on extraneous things to buy the product, or some equivalent that was perhaps even better, and of my own choosing, rather than follow the offer like a dog would a bone.

but it must be noted that they did get me over to their site. so i know that little incentives to buy, little enticements do work on me. i was never in denial about that. free shipping always gets my attention (though i do not like it when there is a minimum total to qualify). it is important, of course, to put impulse aside and take a moment to decide whether the offer is better serving me or the company. if it's a win-win situation, that's fine, like a percentage off if i buy 3 pairs of socks, and i need 3 pairs of socks. but if the bait is more appealing than the fish (please don't think to hard about this metaphor, i suspect it doesn't really make sense), there is a problem.

sometimes the expectation of a bonus can gum up the works, like when i don't have a free shipping code so i don't make the purchase, denying myself something i actually want just because the practice of rewarding customers is so common that i feel disgruntled when it isn't presented. i recently forced myself to override my own impulse and paid about $13 (rate based on purchase total rather than weight - can anyone explain to me how that makes sense?) for shipping. i love what i got (i should add, in the interest of full disclosure that the item was marked down...), and that should really be the only reward i need.

does a gift-with-purchase or some other reward ever tip the balance for you? are you ever a sucker?


Anonymous said...

I almost did it. not once. twice, three times. today. emptied that shopping cart 3 times.
an hermes bag at bluefly. $2,880. what a steal. I was excited supposely i could get 20% w/ a code.
well. didn't work.
then i tried the 15% off code. didn't work.
the discount wasn't good enough. so i didn't want the bag.
what does that tell me/you. how much do you think i want that bag? (for my mom).

not so anonymous anonymous.

Candid Cool said...

perfect timing, i just got an offer in the mail from Victoria's Secret if i spent a certain amount id get a duffle bag.

i had been eyeing a pair of shoes from the website, & the duffle bag was simple & the right size like i'd been looking for, free shipping, double points, it was a done deal.

if i hadnt already been looking for some of the things, i would prob. not have paid attention to it.

Anonymous said...

I have a points card for a generally more-expensive drug store *cough* shoppers drug mart *cough*. The store is pleasant to shop in, their store-brand products are lovely, they have 20x the points days, and generally, accumulating points pays off in the short term (points are traded in for money in which to spend at said store).

For awhile, I was racking up the points and spending more money at said store. For some reason, I paused and examined the dollars to points ratio I was running, and it just didn't work out! I was spending more than I should on products, buying products I didn't really need all in the name of POINTS.

I stopped. Occasionally, I'll still shop at this store and possibly take advantage of their 20x the points days, but I'm a lot more prudent with how and where I spend my money.

So yes, at times, I am a sucker. :-)



Iheartfashion said...

No, I've never seen a gift with purchase that was enticing, but I'm a sucker for free shipping. Also, I use my Amex card A LOT because I earn points that I can redeem for gift cards.

coco said...

oh my god i am so hungry for cake now
they look soooooooooooo yummy

editor said...

notsoanonymous - it's for the best.

candid cool - i like when it works out perfectly, like it did for you, but more often i find myself in sabina's position, where the "deal" ends up being not so much.

iheartfashion - i love the amex for the miles!

coco - i was waiting for someone to mention that! lol i really did my best to find the most delicious pictures for you all.

a. said...

darn it, a comment i submitted didn't get posted... let's see if i can say it again... 1) there were two articles recently in the nytimes that relate to this - one on how macys has realized that cutting back on coupons has really affected their bottom line negatively (because people won't shop/spend without the coupon to make them feel like they're actually saving) and 2) how llbean has already started offering free shipping for xmas (this was like, two weeks ago). the article went on to discuss the ins-and-outs of "free" shipping (avg amount spent by a consumer who takes advantage of such deals, whether the co. acutally makes or loses money, etc). i think both were biz section articles. v. interesting to a nerd like me. did anyone else see these?

2) i'm a total sucker for free shipping. just ordered a pair of too-expensive shoes (stylish, non-clunky, non-huge-heel lace-up oxfords for women, SO RARE!!!! these days! from nordstrom.com by telling myself that i can promptly return them in-store when i face the reality that i can't afford them...