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I'm in Coupons Scholarship 2014. Entry-Ian W.

While I would definitely agree that coupons influence my buying decisions, it’s also true that they aren’t the only factor in me deciding on whether to purchase an item or not. When using coupons, I feel as if it’s important to remember that, just because an item is on sale/has a coupon, does not necessarily make it a good deal. Granted, there are often times where it’s very obvious the coupon practically makes it a steal and, of course, in those cases, feel free to use them.

However, there are often times where an item on sale/with a coupon may not be as great of a deal that it appears to be. One of the best examples of this is during one the biggest sales in America – Black Friday. In the past, retailers have been accused of gouging prices before-hand, so that they could then sell the item during a Black Friday sale. To make matters worse, many electronic devices sold by retailers on Black Friday have been found to contain things like security vulnerabilities, backdoors, and other suspicious mechanisms coded into the device. While these things are certainly rare occurrences, it still shows one thing: it’s important to ask yourself why the device might be on sale, rather than just awe over the deals.

Now, that being said, coupons are still great ways to save money on items. When mixed with other money-saving tactics, however, it can lead to even greater discounts – tactics which I use when considering a purchase, and influence my decision. Some of these tactics include things like, timing my purchases to the month/season when the item is cheapest, using a member’s warehouse-style store, and comparing prices at different retailers. If you take all of these matters into account, it’s very likely that a consumer could score some deals that they wouldn’t even think of as possible.

A note from us at I’m In: We can help you save a bunch with our in-store coupons!

Even still, coupons are one of the easiest and most available ways to save money. Generally, companies will distribute coupons to the general public for a handful of different reasons, which benefit both consumer and manufacturer. First of all, the coupon acts as a form of advertising even if the consumer chooses not to use the coupon, they are still aware of the manufacturer, as well as their product and competitive prices. Secondly, the coupon serves to take business away from competition an important feat in business. That being said, because coupons have a number of benefits towards the companies that provide them, it’s in their best interest to distribute these coupons. It’s important for consumers to remember this while making a decision on purchasing something, especially if they don’t have any coupons on hand for the item they are purchasing. I know that this is something that influences whether or not I will purchase something – if I don’t have any coupons for something, I might be more inclined to look for some.

In conclusion, I think that coupons certainly influence my decision on if I will be making a purchase. This is the desired effect of a manufacturer or retailer distributing a coupon. For a manufacturer or retailer, a coupon not only serves as advertising, but also can influence you to buy something, and overall attract more business to the manufacturer/retailer in question. However, while coupons/sales are generally pretty good for consumers, it’s still important to remain conscious of other ways to save money when making a purchase. For example, using tactics like warehouse stores, timing purchases, and others, can lead to great savings, especially when combined with coupons. Consumers should also be aware of the price history of the item, and the item that they are buying – some retailers may mask recent price hikes/bad products by offering them up on a discount. Therefore, while I would say that coupons and sales are a factor in my purchasing decisions, I would also say that they are not the sole factor.

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