Shop ’til you drop, pick yourself up and shop some more
Monday, November 30, 2015 @ 3:45 AM
By Bill Phillips
Today is Cyber-Monday.
It’s the Monday when, if we have any money left after all the Black Friday sales, we purchase something online.
So thanks for going to a website that is free and where we’re not trying to sell you anything other than, perhaps, ideas.
I drove by Pine Centre Mall and Spruceland Mall and, judging by the packed parking lots, shoppers were out in force. Nothing like a good sale to get people out to the stores.
For me, I’ve never been much of a shopper. I like to go to a store, buy what I need, and get out. I’ve never subscribed to the notion that simply because a store puts a sign up that something was $100 and is now $75 it’s a good deal. There is, of course, the old salesman’s credo “there’s no such thing as a bad deal.” And it’s true. If the purchaser thinks they’re getting a good deal, then it’s a good deal.
Again though, simply because the price is marked down doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. That’s not to say there weren’t deals to be had on Black Friday and/or Cyber-Monday. You have to look for them. In fact, they’re usually available year-round.
I remember shaking my head a few years ago when someone told me they never buy anything unless it’s on sale. I, the anti-shopper, shook my head. I’ve got better things to do than scout around stores looking for sales all the time. But then I noticed something, there are always sales on.
Like I said, I don’t believe that simply because there’s a ‘marked down’ sticker on something in a store, I have to have it. But I’ve come realize that there will be a sale on something, somewhere every week of the year. So, my friend who never buys anything unless it’s on sale, has got it right.
I’m probably a store’s dream customer. If I need a new pair of pants, I go to the store, pick out a pair that fits and buy them. If I spend less than five minutes in the store, I’m happy. Stores love me because I’ll buy that pair of pants whether they’re on sale or not. Don’t get me wrong, I love to get a deal, but I just don’t like hunting for them. If I buy that pair of pants for $50 this week and they’re on for 50 per cent off next week, I’m double the customer (with half the buying power) as the customer who’s there during the sale. In other words, the store will make more of a profit off me than they will off those looking for the deals.
Not everyone shops like me. The stores know this and that’s why they put on sales. They need volume and cash flow too, so better to get 10 customers in a store and make a buck off each of them than have one customer and soak him for $5.
Just remember that the sales are designed to get you in the door, the deals you have to look for.
If you were out fighting the crowds on Black Friday, I hope you got what you were looking for and at a good price. And, I hope you have some money left over because, hold your horses, the Christmas sales are about to start.
Bill Phillips is a freelance columnist living in Prince George. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He can be reached at email@example.com