Why Is Getting A Good Deal So Difficult?

The other day my son managed to lose a pair of pants from his school uniform. How he did this, I am not sure, since he was wearing them at school that day. Nevertheless, somehow between the end of the school day and the end of his bus ride home, he managed to lose his pants. I suspect that his pants were somehow misplaced as he rushed to change into more comfortable clothing before he boarded his bus. Alas, we will never know.

Regardless of what happened, the mystery of the disappearing pants forced us (and by us, I mean my beloved wife) to go on-line that night and order an additional pair of pants. My wife had had a rather frustrating day as it was, so she was less than thrilled to h

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10 Responses to Why Is Getting A Good Deal So Difficult?

  1. Ann says:

    I have to admit that it depends on the dollar value of the item and/or the frequency that I buy that item.

    For instance, Amazon has me hooked with its discounts and free shipping. Also, I spent some time recently on the purchase of a 4-in-one pot for cooking — I saw the same pot to $39 to $59!

    I’m currently debating buying a storage cabinet/workbench set up ’cause it’s at a significant savings, I can pick it up (no shipping) and it’s something I can really use to replace my cobbled together setup for some inside sculpting/carving. But we’ll see.

  2. Ron says:

    I’m new to marketing but I do know the basic tenet is to extract as much as you can out of the consumer for the value you provide. Submitting coupons and rebates aren’t supposed to be easy, just allows companies to segment their customers giving the extremely price-sensitive customers a lower-priced option. The online world will slowly even out and minimize the amount of slack marketers will be able to play with.

    But as you’ve mentioned, it even takes effort from the consumer in that perspective. In the end, companies and their marketers are doing their best to maximize shareholder value for their wares and services. Ideally you find a sweet spot where both companies and consumers are completely satisfied with their relationship.

  3. Beth says:

    Very interesting column – I must admit I’m not as fastidious as I should be about coupons – however, I do rely on sites like retailmenot.com to scope out coupons for stores like Michaels. I also look at your column from the perspective of someone who owns a business and needs to make the purchase as easy and valuable to the buyer as possible. Good stuff, David.

  4. Jeff says:

    It’s all relative to the time cost and savings versus value received from the research. I’ll spend the extra time researching, capital expenditures, travel arrangements and hotels versus food items. When it comes to buying grocery items, one can save with the store brand items rather than clipping or researching coupons.

  5. Anne says:

    When shopping online, I do – usually – scope out the best deal, whether earning cashback or miles through rewardsdb.com- it collates all the online offers and all you have to do is search for the store name. However, if I had to personally visit each of the sites to determine the best offer, I wouldn’t unless it was a large purchase. I would stick with one cashback place and just go through that.

    Sometimes I even forget to that online. On the other hand, I have at times ordered online for in-store pickup just for the miles.

  6. Diane says:

    I’ll keep an eye out for your son’s school pants – just let me know the size & color.

    Goodness knows I have enough extra socks, t-shirts, underwear, etc. here to clothe another boy… Why, I don’t know, but I’m convinced they drop clothes everywhere they stop, and my son has lots of friends stopping here.

    As for the portals, I have not been doing this. I do usually check Amazon before making purchases online, but that’s as far as it goes.

    I do use coupons & rebates when possible. Rebates are NOT easy to use, but I am relentless in completing them, keeping copies & following up.

  7. Lou Russo says:

    Of course, the retailers and manufacturers make it as difficult as possible to get the discounts and rebates figuring that most people will not bother and wind up paying the higher price. We try to use store and manufacturer coupons, especially at the supermarket. One store we use keeps a running tally of savings, and this year, my wife and I have saved over $400 at this store alone. (It’s just the two of us)
    I have used Upromise, but I find it not to be very reliable or timely in applying the few pennies we get, so I don’t use it very much.
    Generally, we don’t but anything unless it is on sale or has some kind of coupon. My wife is very good at keeping track of those kinds of things.

  8. spicoli says:

    At some point, the value of my time is greater than the value of getting a deal. At that point, I don’t bother trying. I’ll do a lot for a significant rebate on an appliance, but not for a $4.99 box of cereal.

  9. Persephone says:

    I agree with spicoli. If getting the best deal requires me to jump through a lot of hoops, I will only “jump” if there is a lot of money on the line. I know what I am worth per hour so I know what effort is worthwhile to save money.

  10. Stella says:

    4-5% may not be worth it. But I’ll always try to hunt down a coupon or promo code to save 10-20%–or even get free shipping. I use Savings.com because they seem to have the largest “inventory” when it comes to retailers and codes–plus they keep the site maintained so they aren’t any broken or expired deals.

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