Sales season is upon us. The rise of the e-commerce industry has also given rise to a whole slew of sales that take place at the end of the year. With sales like Rewards Day 9.9 in September, Perfect 10 sale in October, 11.11 Sale in November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November, Online Fever in December and The Christmas & New Year Sale (January) you’ll expect to save a lot of money until the year-end.
But do these sales like the 10.10 sale really offer great deals, or are you just being conditioned to overspend? Read on to find out.
Like Sheep to The Slaughter
Even though you are might come excited to get the best out of these sales, the other team is pulling all the stops. E-commerce retailers have employed many strategies to “fool your animal brain.” According to Brad Klontz, the author of Mind Over Money, their main goal is to:
Trigger an emotional reaction that will cause you to deviate from your carefully prepared shopping list and spend more.
Months before your first click, there is a team of dedicated researchers, scientists, and marketers with lots of data and resources working on your shopping experience. We are not telling you to cut up your credit card and live in Pulau Ubin. Instead, you should pay more attention to these sales and spend more consciously.
Anatomy of A Sale
Even before the sales begin, companies begin sending out promotional emails, posts on social media and influencer posts way before the sales begin. I’m sure you have seen the colorful emails that remind you of the sale to entice you to spend more. With a strategic use of pleasing colors like blue which connotes trust and dependability, surrounded by a white border that suggests modernity and honesty. This primes you for the sale and gets you excited for the deals on offer to encourage you to spend.
According to a study produced by the National Institute of Development Administration in Thailand that examined the effects of conditional promotions (e.g. buy 2 or more, get 30% off spend $50 or more get $15 off) on consumers. The study showed that when presented with either a minimum spending requirement or minimum purchase quantity, some consumers are induced to spend more to secure a discount. We’ve all been there and I am sometimes I’m a victim of it myself. When presented with this I end up spending more to get something I do not need.
Gamification is defined as the use of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts like marketing. This is implemented by marketers with games and things like flash sales, contests, daily login bonuses that engage the user more and encourage more spending. With events like flash sales, you might log in at the to catch the sale. Even if you don’t get the product you want at that rock bottom price, you are already logged in and primed to spend.
Although we can’t deny that these games are fun and that you can get good deals on these flash sales; they are made to drive more sales and improve the company’s bottom line.
Even though there are deals to be had during a sale, not everything might be cheaper. The item you may be looking at might be on ‘discount’ all year round. When you see it during a sales period you assume it is on a bigger discount because you associate it with the sale. Some companies also engage in comparing prices to higher “list prices” or suggested manufacturer prices (MSRPs) as a marketing gimmick during sales to make consumers think that they are getting a great deal. Here is where a price tracker like this one for Lazada may come in handy. Do also remember to compare prices with other websites such as iPrice with the comparison as well to see if the item is really worth buying.
At IUIGA, we do things a little differently, breaking down the price of the product and showing you how much profit we earn from it all year round.
Timed Sales & The Countdown Frame of Mind
In addition, e-commerce retailers often incorporate a pressing deadline into the consumer’s purchasing journey. When you are in two minds about what to buy, this tactic gets you off the fence to spend more. Creating this artificial sense of urgency with this countdown forces you to make a quick decision even though the deal might not be ideal. The price offered at that point of time may not available after it expires and consumers might rue the opportunity cost on missing out on this deal. This, in turn, creates an artificial demand for the product.
Well, how do you waste less money online? There are a few things you can do.
How to Spend Consciously
Unsubscribe From All Daily Deal Emails
If you are an avid online shopper, you may have subscribed to newsletters that offer deals and inform you of sales. These emails are great – who would say no to a good deal. However, they are also manipulative. When we go about our daily lives, there is little or no urge no engage in online shopping. When we receive these emails they serve as triggers to shop online.
Daily deal emails are great when you have a lot of self-control and discipline to spend your money in a prudent manner. Without it, daily deal emails are little more than triggers that get us to shop, shop, shop.
Delete Payment Details
Few things are more harmful to your wallet than those one-click checkouts that many e-commerce websites feature. Although it may be a hassle to key in the details each time you shop, it puts the control back in your hands. The price of convenience is high when you end up with a lighter wallet.
Create a Waiting List
Personally, one of the methods I found most effective for me to control my spending was to use the waiting list method. If like me you have the tendency to make impulse buys, this method will reveal to you how worthless these purchases are. All you need are writing materials. Whenever you feel like buying something note down the item and the date. Wait for about a month, if you still want to buy the product, just purchase it! This has saved me a lot of money as I found out I didn’t really need the things I wanted at the moment.
Calculate The Hours You Need to Work to Afford The Item
Time is precious and so is the time spent at work. When considering a big ticket item, divide up the cost by how much you earn an hour. For example, maybe you would like to get a new laptop which would cost about $1500. If you make $15 per hour at your job, you’ll need to work 100 hours to get it.
This puts things into perspective on how much of your life you are giving up to buy something.
Write Down in Advance What You Need
Before the sales even start, you can write down what you need to buy in advance. With a plan and idea of what you were going to get, you will be less likely to deviate and purchase things impulsively and end up overspending. In the short run, you will be thinking that you are losing out on these deals and promotions. Nevertheless, your wallet will thank you in the future as you end up spending on things that you really need and not buy impulsively.
At IUIGA, we are committed to conscious spending and buying only what you need. Even at the sale, we had last year, we limited the things you could check out in your basket to 3 items so that you will think twice about whether you really need these products. If you agree with what we are doing and want to save money from the low markups our products have, head on over to this register link to signup for an account!