Wait let me check the web site for a coupon before you decide whether to buy that or not!  Absolutely, coupons influence my purchases.  I subscribe to emails or apps for most of the shops and businesses where I like their products.  I will make an effort to go to a store when a special gift or coupon is happening.  I sign up for member benefits knowing the company is profiling my buying habits.  I will buy something I might need but could get somewhere else for a little less to earn those benefits.  I have caught myself wanting to buy things I do not need just because its buy one get one free.

I am not the only one of my friends who feels this way about bargains.  I have one friend who loves a deal so much she will buy items she does not even like because it is a deal.  I believe the word feel is the key to the phenomenon.  It feels so good to find and negotiate a deal it becomes almost an addiction.  I think my friend learned it from her mother.  Once her mom purchased a container of products labeled cooking and housewares, and when I say container I mean shipping container.  It was a six foot by six foot by six-foot plastic container.  She had a garage sale with the items she did not want.  The garage sale gave her the feeling that she was in control of her purchases.

My mom has a friend who goes regularly to pawnshops to purchase diamond jewelry.  She trades with different shops looking for the ultimate bargain.  She also makes trips to Goodwill shops and other resale shops to buy something, wear it a little while, and then resell it.  It is a bargain.  It is a deal.  It is a feeling of accomplishment at finding something special in a mass marketing system.  It can fulfill the need to hunt and gather that may be inherent in our natures.

People on TV show talk about the coupons they clip and the hundreds of dollars they save.  I want extra hundreds of dollars and still have everything I want just by looking for coupons, buy one get ones and other discounts.  I have tried some of the coupon sites but I feel so violated by their probing for details of my life that I usually give up after the second screen.  They miss a large portion of customers by asking too many questions and not inferring from the information they gather.  They would even be more successful if they layered there questions with successful bits of coupons.  Like Pavlov’s research demonstrated a certain amount of success early on will create a stronger habit than working too hard for a treat at first.  I am surprised at the companies that offer free sample products that do not use a research based system.  Either people are more tenacious than I imagine or they just sell your name and address and will never provide a sample.  To name a few companies who have mastered the coupon and cash back system is Kohl’s.  They have men and women both flocking in to their stores to buy products at a percentage off and then if they spend a certain amount they give the customer an incentive to come back in a couple of weeks.  Bath and Body Works are almost identical in their management of coupons.  They email coupons, snail mail coupons and drop them in your bag as you purchase an item.  And it works!  I will buy Bath and Body Works products because they are on sale!  They make wonderful gifts for when you forget an event.  So not only are they a bargain but they are a life saver in a pinch.

To sum up my opinion about coupon shopping:  YES! I will shop for things because I have a coupon!  And if you give me a minute I can check the website of the store we are in and I’ll let you know what that item will really cost you!

A note from us at I’m In: We feature those great deals from Kohl’s and coupons from Bath and Body Works!