How Holiday Marketers Empty Your Pocket Through Discounts?

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It was Black Friday, 2017. I repeated three times to me in the mirror before stepping to the war field: Do Not Overbuy! Do Not Overbuy! DO NOT OVERBUY!


The battle of Winterfell ended with me, spending over $500, carrying products that I didn’t need at all, back to my apartment. I even bought not one, but TWO yoga mats just because the label said, “Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off.”



I once heard that in Chinese internet language, purchasing many products during discounting seasons is called “chop my hand off,” originating from the sentence “One more thing I buy, I’ll chop my hand off.” Well in this sense, I think I’m Venus de Milo after every single discounting season because I always have my both “hands chopped off!”




What have shoppers done to you?


People don’t buy things just out of no reason, but “usefulness” is definitely not the only motivation. Many celebrities purchase luxuries to show their status, while young people buy the newest Switch to show off with their friends. For people hanging out on the street during a discounting season, they tend to buy things because it “saves money.”


But does it really do?



Shoppers like to play with your mind. They make huge boards with big black letters telling you how MUCH you can save if you just purchase “two or more products” or “over $100.” When you see the board saying “saving $60,” you are not actually thinking about what you need to pay, but focusing on how much you can save.


For example, you see a nice bag, original cost $150, labeled “saving $60.” You think it’s so cheap that you want to get two. In this way, you end up paying $180 – more money than the original cost of one bag. Of course you can save money in that way – but you spend more.



BE AWARE. This is the trick. Train yourself to translate “saving $60” to “spending $90,” and you’ll be calmer and stick to your spending plan (Do you have one?)


Also, remember to evaluate how much that product, for example, the bag mentioned before, is worth to you. Will you purchase $90 for it if you just see it on an ordinary day? If you won’t, don’t purchase it on a discounting day.


The next thing is making yourself a spending plan and stick to it. Well, this should have been the first thing, but I put the sale trick at top because it is more likely to be ignored, at least for me.




Making a spending plan


A spending plan is like a weight loss diet. You can try to stick to it, or you can easily break it. Personally, I think the key is “never indulge yourself.”


Like when you are trying to lose weight, you need to get rid of cookies and sweets. But what usually happens is that you want to have one cookie just for a little pleasant feeling, but end up finishing the whole bag.



So always remember to check your plan and make sure you are not going too far. With the help of your consciousness of the sale trick, hope you won’t “chop too many hands off” next time. Just don’t be like me – I know the rules, but still end up as “Venus de Milo.”

2 Answers

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Hi Venus de Milo, I'm the other Venus de Milo.  Chop my hands, so I can have a little balance in my account. Oh, mom...
My roommate bought so much toilet paper, stacked in our shared living room, still packed, unbelievable!!! Shall I ask her to stack in her own bedroom?