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Deals, Discounts and Coupons: The Thrill is Gone




It’s President’s Day and you know what that means! Low low prices on mattresses, bedding, jewelry and cars, cars, cars. If George Washington were alive today, he’d be lining up to get a great price on a new Toyota! Honest, says Abe!

Do you remember the days when Washington and Lincoln were respected men of history and not hyperactive, humorous pitch men? Me neither.

But there was a time when people planned for holiday sales because it was the only time of the year you’d get such a great deal. Magazines would publish articles about the best time to buy new sheets or barbeque grills because most of the deep discounts were calendar-based. How does that work now that we get bombarded with great deals every day? From Amazon’s Daily Deals to Groupon’s half price offers, to downloadable and printable coupons for hundreds of products and restaurants, the average person could go broke saving money.

On a daily basis, I get a dozen discount offers in my email box and a few more via Twitter. Even Best Buy now reminds me that I can save if I buy completely unrelated products through the Best Buy rewards program. I love a good deal and I’m known for never paying full price but even I’ve grown weary of the constant stream of deals, discounts and coupons.

The very word “deal,” used to imply that you were getting something special. A reward for shopping at a certain time or for being a loyal customer. Now, when ten mommy bloggers note it on their blog and three people send it to me via Facebook, I don’t feel so special anymore. And can it really be called a discount when the item never actually sells for the full price as is the case with Amazon?

Studies have shown us that people follow brands on Facebook and Twitter in hopes of getting a coupon. Studies also show a huge rise in the number of people using deal sites like Groupon on a regular basis. But at what point will we all begin turning a blind eye on the great deal? How soon before 50% is looked at as hardly worth the effort? It’s 90% off or nothing!

If being different is how a company stands out in a crowd, maybe it’s time someone tried reverse psychology. To honor those men who helped shape our country, we give you the President’s Day Full Price Sale. Nothing discounted, because when it comes to quality and standards, you always get what you pay for.

I’ll bet there are a couple of marketing geniuses out there who could totally make that idea work.

  • http://www.seansupplee.com Sean Supplee

    lol it is pretty bad what they do to some of our most treasured leaders anymore. Where has all the respect gone?

    But your right it seems like every day there is a new sale anymore or some type of gimmick to get someone to buy. I do most of my shopping online anymore because with a simple search you can find yourself a better deal they you ever could in mail fliers.

  • http://www.dailydealpool.com Nora

    I think many people are still completely hooked on daily deals and group buying. It really exploded into the new year, and sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are just growing bigger and bigger.

    http://www.dailydealpool.com is another aggregator site that offers consumers a way to save with daily deals and sales in their area being e-mailed to them daily. Using daily deals and groupons can be a great way to save on your next big purchase, or even for everyday savings.

  • http://www.savings.com/blog/blog.html Stella

    You make an excellent point. I know I’ve become so inured to the constant of “Hot Deal!” that if it ain’t 50% off or more, I can’t be bothered. This also reminds me of when my Mom started using coupons. She’d come home with bags and bags of groceries, most of it stuff we never ate or used that was purchased simply because she had a coupon for it. “Guess how much money I saved?!!!” she’d gloat. “Um, you didn’t save money, Mom–you bought a lot of @#$% that we usually don’t eat.”

    “The average person could go broke saving money.” Word.

  • http://www.paradisevalleyaz.com Lisa Kemper

    These discount sites are becoming more and more popular. Everywhere I turn I’m seeing the “Pay $20 for a $40 gift certificate” deals. It’s a great way for businesses to attract new customers but you make a good point – When will people expect more than a 50% discount?

  • http://www.mailblaze.com/blog Georgia Christian

    Hi Cynthia – I’m in South Africa and only recently have I signed up to Groupon, when it bought out a similar local site (I’m a bit behind the times I think :). Point is, I absolutely agree with you when you say that people can go broke saving money. It’s all too tempting to buy these ‘deals’, almost every day there is one that appeals to me. I really have to take a minute to ask myself if it’s something I really need or even want for that matter. Thanks for sharing your points.

  • http://www.orbitalalliance.com Simon Yohe

    Right now, discount sites are hot… however, we need to just sit back and wait to see how this folds out in a year or two…

    What it all boils down to is… “you get what you pay for”…. it’s exciting to get spectacular deals and incentives and feel great about it, but a lot of times that is short-lived because there are stipulations or the quality of the product/service is not as good. Eventually, people will begin to realize that cheap is not always better, and will begin to put more emphasis on quality and long-term evaluation over current instant gratification and only short-term sited objectives.

    Also for many small and new companies, the execution of a deal can be a two-edged sword, as consumers can become accustomed to your deal, and be turned off of your product once you are only offering your normal rate.

  • STEVE

    I agree, and I think Groupon should have taken the 6 billion buyout offer from Google. It’s a temporary fad, businesses can’t survive giving things away for half price, there is no margin in it, and it attracts a different kind of shopper, the kind that is trained to only buy when there is a huge discount. Plus most of the email offers I get from these sites are for crap that I’m not interested in and will never buy. So I think we will see a huge die-off of coupon & discount sites in 2011, as people get tired of the nonstop barrage of “deals”.

    • Cynthia

      What’s happening to me is I’m finding myself tempted to buy stuff I wouldn’t ever have considered but it’s such a great deal. I imagine this is why many people are addicted to these sites and soon we’ll need a new intervention show: Help! I’m Addicted to Discounts!