The ways of the force
Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought after ways to improve their conditions of living. From the warmth of the first fire to the comforts of air conditioning, we continue to seek more for less. I speak of course about the comfort of coupons. These are sheets of papers which enable a consumer to obtain an item or items at a fraction of the cost such product would originally be worth. I myself see these coupons as a helpful way to save money, but, is my shopping influenced by these saving opportunities?
Coupons do not influence my shopping habits simply because it is not wort the time. Most coupons only apply to one thing and even then they cannot be combined with other discounts. While one may argue that coupons help relieve the economic expenses, the truth of the matter is that in most cases, such savings are merely a smoke screen intended on obtaining more sales rather than alleviating families from wasting so much money. One Macy’s employee once told me that stores mark up the price of an item so that when the “savings” has been finalized, the customer ends up paying almost the same price they would had. She compared it to the experiments made by Pavlov. People buy what is on sale with coupons and see themselves save money. Then these customers continue to come back with the coupons because they believe they save money at that store. The minute savings serve as positive reinforcement that propel customers to further continue wasting time with coupons and still spend the same on their products.
Now I do not intend on saying coupons are bad. On the contrary they stimulate spending and alleviate some economic impact by making produce cost a little less than they would have. The core of this essay is to explain why they do not influence me. I am a professional ballet dancer and a contractor so naturally I do not have much free time to shop around collecting coupons to save a little on my necessities. Time is a valuable asset and when I go shopping I rely on the store I go because I already trust their prices, quality, and in store promotions. For example, if a 50% coupon appeared for a pair of shoes valued at ninety dollars I would still consider if I needed to waste forty five dollars simply because the bargain is there. The answer would be no. That money can be put to other more effective uses rather than because a huge deal appeared.
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Furthermore, much of the hype about coupons can be considered a marketing strategy. Take in effect the attention coupons attract. Companies advertise their products by offering a hook and bait. That bait can be said to represent the savings the coupons offer. The hook is the actual product. Now as was mentioned in the previous paragraph, consumers are conditioned to seek the comfort of coupons to obtain the product they desire. Therein lies the hook. Once the coupon has been redeemed, customers continue desiring the product and come back for more. This is a successful marketing that is aided by both the coupon and the product. I personally do not pay much heed to coupon advertising and thus have not fallen in the cycle of buying to save and saving to buy. My influence in shopping comes soley from my income, and necessity of such product. If one has to waste more time than necessary to save a solar on a item then I do not find it worth it. I rather spend the extra dollar than take time away from another activities I could be doing.
In conclusion, I have admiration for people who save thousands or hundreds because of coupons. These people have the time to collect and manage so many papers and barcodes that give them economic breaks. But my circumstances do not allow such to happen. I do not waste money because I have a desire to save. I waste it because it is a necessity. Coupons are wonderful. They save some money and just as there are bad things to it there are also glorious things for them. But such influence does not apply to me. I shop as the day comes. Might be effective might be ineffective, but my way works for me. Whatever way you have, May the force be with you as it is with me.