I've noticed that more and more of the good deals involve a rebate, a membership card or some other kind of money back scheme. Everything now days seems to based on some cash back reward scenario combined with a coupon during a certian time and qualifier.
In the old days there were more direct rewards for business at the gas station, grocery stores and even the feed store.
What do you think? Are today's deals a way around direct price comparison, a new better way or healthy competition?
And yes for those that have been around a while, I asked nearly the same a few years back.
Marketers have learned they can lure people in with the discounted price, knowing that many will fail to send in for the rebate, will fail to use the rebate card due to loss or forgetfulness, or can be denied the rebate due to a myriad of reasons of ineligibility written into the fine print.
I'm not thrilled with the trend to membership cards: Walgreens, Kmart, Target etc.
Pretty sure, this trend is about consumer information collecting, which is a secondary income stream for retailers. Gathered info is sold (and used to zone in on consumer wants and needs).
When you stop to think about a mail in rebate program, there is at least one piece of the puzzle missing. Yes, you can get a rebate on the overpayment you made on the product you purchased but.... you are not going to retrieve the 7 or 8 percent overpayment you just made on sales tax.
I have no membership cards to any retailers.
As I travel with a motor home, there is one major retailer of trinkets for that kind of goods that I avoid... Camping World. Friend of mine called me from the New Jersey area yesterday, and his air conditioner was out. They put a guy to working on his unit and he diagnoses the problem the first time as he needs to change the freon and recharge it. So help me, the truth, never mind the fact that the compressor won't start. The overpriced goods and services and the lack of knowledge on the part of the techs in these places blow my mind. I suggested since one of his units works, that he go buy a fan and when he gets back to Tennessee get his local guy to look at it that he knows and trusts. And to my point, if he joins the Presidents Club and gets a card, he gets 10% off on this kind of service.
I'm not a big fan of rebates, especially if it's a mail-in rebate and even less if the rebate is merely a credit to be applied on more overpriced merchandise in the same store.
It would be nice if our college market expert that used to post often about stuff like market elastisity and margins would weigh in.
The business I was in was more one on one without a Sears style ipad to do the negotiating and I tryed a lot of those recommended something for nothing gimmicks, none ever worked as well as basic features and benefits and fair pricing backed by service.
Those match/beat anyone's price on the same product are voided by the fact that no one else sells the exact version. The packaging or names changed just enough to protect the claimant.
Like you, I had to sell what I had without a lot of fancy gimmicks. What I had to sell basically was my product, my service and my company to back it up.
When somebody came in with cheaper prices generally one of those three items was missing or shoddy. Sometimes we won over one of those customers simply by making the other guys overall product complete. In other words, go with me and we pick up your service on products past, present and future. If we cannot win you over, your problems are vested in our cheap competition, past, present and future.
Bottom line is you get what you pay for. The only way you may get a deal if they are clearing them out. That clearance isle at Walmart is amazing though. The price may be a few cents less that the regular price but it makes want to people buy it even if they don't need it.
People have been programmed to buy just for the sake of buying. I have a sister-in law that has things setting around her house that will be piled up for weeks and is still in the bag. She will finally them it in a box and then sell it later at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar. Her house is so full of useless furniture and oddball stuff it's like walking through a maze .
She is a nurse well and always talking about how she is not paid enough. If she just budgeted she would be in good shape. She is jealous of anyone that has their finances in order.
They can target, give rebates, have sales whatever... I don't shop, I buy. I most generally only go into any store when I need something. I go in, I locate, I buy and I get out of there ASAP and don't take a lot of useless junk home with me. Maybe I pay a few pennies more this way, but in the end I think I save money by not shopping and buying something I "may" need.
If it is a major purchase I research it on the internet and make my purchase accordingly.
Wheels, I had to laugh at your 1:08 AM post. Can it be interpreted that you didn't use a lot of fancy gimmicks, but did use gimmicks ?
When the new boss at Pennys tried to revert back to a more straight forward selling system the stores lost money. Women, I think like buying for 60% off even though it still costs more.
Sometimes a savy shopper can get a deal that the store maybe didn't see coming when all the coupon, sale, rebate stuff is stacked but I reckon that's not that often.
We have neighbors that wouldn't think of buying an appliance from Sears or other big store. They always pay more from the local old fashion dealer. People always remember who gave them a freebie, a merchant once told me. Case in point, I asked my neighbor where they got that nice weather station and he said he got that free from Bill for buying something one time.
-- Posted by howdydoody on Sun, Aug 25, 2013, at 11:41 AM
Yes Doody... we had a gimmick.
I will let you in on the secret. We sold a quality product made in America at a fair price that afforded us a fair profit so we could stay in business to service that product we sold. We jealously guarded our customers from larger predators by offering them the kind of service the big boys only talk about.
We hired people who were skilled, paid them a living wage, paid 2/3 of their family coverage healthcare and retained the best of them. That way we had the service to back up our sales.
That was our "gimmick" Doody..... anything else you need to know? Or something else I could posssibly amuse you with? You sound as if your are simple and easily entertained.
PS: The business, I started and no longer own is celebrating it's 50th year during 2013.
He's a lot of things.... but I better not start naming them. :-)
-- Posted by *Rick** on Sun, Aug 25, 2013, at 2:48 PM
Correct on the ugly part!
I don't know Doody's success or lack thereof. Further don't really care.
But life has it's little problems. Like we have to share him as a fan of ours. Does that make him only a half a fan?
Perhaps in-line with the seemingly growing fixation on instant gratification, coupled with the shortening attention spans relying on sound-bite snippets and 'wow' factors characteristic of what was termed the M-TV generation. Hmmmm, now that term even seems dated a bit...
Going off-topic on the marketing issue by a lot, but relating to the observed trends and changes over the past years - the following was shared with me, attributed to a very funny man - George Carlin - but not so much funny, as 'he got that right'...
"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."
The mail-in-rebate, membership cards, etc. are all very targeted marketing campaigns to get personal information. You have to provide who you are to get these. You usually have to provide email addresses, cell number, etc. as well.
The big move today is to SMM - social media marketing. The big promise of the internet is "personalized marketing". It's been going on for years and they are pushing more and more to get a personal contact with their customers. Rebates, membership cards, etc. are all a part of that.
fxpwt, Thanks for posting that.
Dug, I generally stop at the E-Mail part, I spend more time deleting stuff than reading stuff already.
I guess some day our houses will have an information center that displays a list of what to repurchase / restock along with a vast array of advertising for the lowest price. :)
If you liked this you may also like ....
Anyone catch 60 minutes Sunday evening? There was a piece on facial recognition and the potential uses for targeted advertising. Manikins to make suggestions designed for you as they recognize you walking by. Billboards and store windows changing based on your facial print.
The piece noted Facebook has a huge catalog of faces for facial recognition. A free service that could potentially sell all your photos aka facial prints for a profit.
It's not "Fast Food" , it's bad food done quickly
-- Posted by *Rick** on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 7:20 AM
Rick, that is the best explanation I have heard for most of the junk you get in so called restaurants that have drive up windows.
"There was a piece on facial recognition and the potential uses for targeted advertising..."
One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the implication that private agencies have such mountains of privacy violating data, that the NSA appears as rank amateurs in comparison.
There was also mention of a new industry, facial feature enhancements that will be able to allow individuals to "hide" from facial recognition software. The alternative is for everyone to wear "burkas."
-- Posted by *Rick** on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 8:20 AM
Rick, that's just Common spinning for the Obama Administration and their refusal to do anything with runaway segments of our government. Our government is supposed to be in place to serve and protect, not harass and intimidate.
If you liked this you may also like .... -- Posted by Old John on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 1:09 AM
Hit the nail on the head OJ! Customer "retention" and increasing "$$/customer" is the focus.
Comon, We could all just wear a Mo rodeo Clown mask. That way we would all be recognized as rank amateurs.
Last night 60 minutes stated the NSA and other government agencies do not and can not legally collect facial images unless incarcerated or a government employee.
Ironically individuals agree to allow Facebook and other social media outlets use their images etc for their profit. Few bother to read user agreements.
"One of the more interesting aspects of the story is the implication that private agencies have such mountains of privacy violating data, that the NSA appears as rank amateurs in comparison."
Private industry does not have the ability to invade our homes with armed men to arrest us on the basis of the data they have, rightly or wrongly, gathered.
"Ironically individuals agree to allow Facebook and other social media outlets use their images etc for their profit. Few bother to read user agreements."
There's the rub: "Allow". We allow them, even if we lied about reading the privacy notice, when we voluntarily open a facebook account and upload images thereto.
This, of course, is not the case with the NSA. I have yet to voluntarily upload an image to my NSA page...
-- Posted by mythos on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 12:33 PM
And you absolutely believe that.... why, because 60 minutes said so?
They may or may not collect facial imagines other than stated, but I want more proof than a member of our politically biased media says so.
I have never uploaded my face to any site. Before I would consider such, I would need to have ironclad rights to royalties from scarecrow manufacturers and horror show produers to name few.
Can you imagine Lefty entering K-Mark to be greeted by a hologram of the president saying "Follow me to the ObamaWear Children's section."? :)
-- Posted by Old John on Mon, Aug 26, 2013, at 1:05 PM
Gonna start calling you by the same name this friend did of his son, the baby of the family by the way, during his high school years.
He called him 'Precious'. :-)
Posting a comment requires a subscription.