1 Shopping is a Game Most Shoppers Love | The Billfold

Shopping is a Game Most Shoppers Love

This is how I shop:

I’m at the office, or at home, or running in the park when I remember that I need to buy a thing—a new dress shirt, or pens (I only like to write with a Pilot Precise V5 Rollerball pen, Extra Fine), a housewarming gift—basically anything outside of my normal weekly spending.

I go online to figure what I should buy, and where I should buy it, because I like knowing in advance how much something should cost. If the item is at a brick and mortar store I can go to, I go and buy it there rather than ordering it online because I like seeing things with my own eyes. I pay for the item and go home. 

I should probably mention that I don’t like shopping. I do not like to window shop. I do not like to stand in lines for Black Friday deals, or figuring out how to get an extra 15 percent off something buy using a coupon combined with a store credit card. I am probably the shopper stores want to convince to spend more money, but I like to know that a thing will cost a certain amount, buy it, and go home.

We’ve learned to live in a world where shopping has become a game where savings can be found only if you know where and how to use the right Groupons or coupons or rebates or days when things are marked down for a certain period of time. Prices for everything have become shrouded, and it turns out that we like it that way.

JC Penney saw a 20 percent drop in revenue in the first quarter of this year after it launched it’s clear pricing campaign:

No more coupons or confusing multiple markdowns. No more 600 sales a year. No more deceptive circulars full of sneaky fine print. Heck, the store even did away with the 99 cents on the end of most price tags. Just honest, clear prices.

Sounds like a sales pitch aimed at consumer advocates and collectors of fine print frustration, like me. As it turned out, it was a sales pitch that only a consumer advocate could love.

Shoppers hated it.

People who shop love deals, markdowns and knowing that there will be a sale on Memorial Day. Shrouded pricing is here to stay.


Photo: Idovermani/Flickr


10 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

That is how I shop too, except I would rather buy it online because I hate the mall now. Well, I don’t hate it, but I do hate it on the weekend. Plus I have to make a huge trek to get to the stores I usually shop at anyway.
I also only like extra fine pens too! I will literally look everywhere for fine or extra fine point. I may have to get those ones.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

I cannot handle deal hunting. I’ll occasionally wait for a company I like to email me about a sale before buying something big-ticket (like right now, I’m waiting for Ann Taylor to send me a nice coupon code before I pay full price for a new suit), but generally speaking I’m too impatient for that. I am an American! I want what I want when I want it!

I LOOOOOVE the new pricing at JC Penney and hate trying to scrounge for coupons/groupons/etc. I would rather pay a bit more for something (if that’s really what it’s worth to me) than to bend over backwards trying to get the best possible price.

Smallison (#155)

I’m the same way. Especially for clothing, because at 4’11″, almost nothing fits right, and I hate the hassle of returning to an online store.

Mrs. Beeton (#320)

When I shop for clothes and other “mall”-type things, I work the Mike Dang way. But I’ve recently started to use coupons for groceries. You have to be careful with that stuff, though. Food coupons are mostly for garbage foods (“Buy two packs of Oreo Cakesters, get one 30% off!), but I find if I’m diligent about checking the circular every week, clipping only coupons for items I need/use, building my shopping list around coupons, and planning ahead a little for meals, I find I’m saving around $20 for every grocery run. Not a lot, but pretty nice.

ginadavis (#5,307)

It`s great that you manage to save around 20$ for each grocery run, I have a big family and if you count how much money you saved in a month the sum is pretty decent. I bought Cassandra Stone dress for my daughter using the Mike Dang way, it was so cool and funny.

Jobeans (#227)

I guess I am the odd one out here. It’s not that I enjoy scouring for deals and whatnot, it’s just that I KNOW I can the exact thing I want for cheaper at some point via coupon codes/”sample sale” websites, and actual sample sales. I hate buying something and then seeing it on sale later on unless I’ve already gotten a lot of use out of it. And, often times, it means being able to buy things I cannot normally afford at retail value.

My approach varies slightly when it comes to buying things locally/mom&pop vs. buying things at a megastore/chain grocery store. I am willing to pay more for things that are higher quality or that support business practices I believe in. Otherwise, I try to find the lowest price.

chic noir (#713)

@Jobeans I hate buying something and then seeing it on sale later on unless I’ve already gotten a lot of use out of it.

With or without having gotten some use out of it, I hate seeing things I paid full price for on sale.

I came here to read about experiencing shopping as a game. Enjoyed the article. But was looking for something about exciting sites like VenTribe.com that gives you functions like being able to chip in together so its more like a game… You know what I mean? (obvious bias ;)

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