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The Game of Shopping
Old 09-15-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
Cocoanut Koala
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Default The Game of Shopping

So I noticed an ad on tv advertising a sale at JCPenney. Hmmm, I thought - I thought the beleaguered Penny's had STOPPED doing sales.

So I looked it up, and found this article:

http://business.time.com/2013/05/02/...too-of-course/

Which pretty much affirmed what I thought: The "no-sales-just-lowest-prices" gimmick was a resounding failure. Sales were down 32% in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to another article.

I didn't realize they'd given that up gimmick by at least May, though I knew they were running those "we listened to you" ads.

Well I coulda told em! We love the game! Which is exactly what the above linked article calls it - the game of "fake prices, sales, and coupons." The article calls it "irrational" for customers to prefer the game.

No it ain't. The game is fun. Plus they don't realize we are onto it. Take Kohls, which is near my house. They have one price on things (the manufacturer's retail suggested price), but ring it up as another and then show us how much we saved.

Well, you can go on Amazon and sometimes get that price cheaper. But the shopper who loves the game knows that, and will go to Amazon or elsewhere when that's the case!

Then Kohls also has sales. And if you have a credit card and spend a certain amount a year, because you are an "MVC" (Most Valuable Customer), you also get coupons several times a year, which are 15, 20, or 30% off. (Right now I am in possession of another 30% off coupon).

Well, that's a LOT to work with when playing the game. That's how I got our gravity chairs for less than $35 each. (There aren't any restrictions on combining these things, or using them on sales items.)

And if all that weren't enough, several times a year you can get Kohls Cash - $10 for every $50 spent. PLUS once a year or so they send me a coupon for $10, just because they lurves me.

By manipulating all this, you really can beat the hell out of other prices elsewhere - which is exactly what the Shopping Game player loves to do.

I say all this not as an ad for Kohls (although it will do for that, too), because it goes for all stores. I use Kohls as an example of why I knew that Penny's idea was doomed. Nothing to play. Plus, the idea that they are just putting the lowest prices you can't really trust, in the sense that you KNOW that they aren't really, if you are a frequent clearance shopper.

So we aren't irrational shoppers, and we know it's a game, but we can win it, and we know, through Internet comparisons, when we do. Also, we like to see what we "saved," and it goes a long way towards convincing a husband of one's thriftiness as well.

So, JCPenney was stupid, and should have consulted me. People like to feel they got a good deal, whether or not they really did.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoanut Koala View Post
So I noticed an ad on tv advertising a sale at JCPenney. Hmmm, I thought - I thought the beleaguered Penny's had STOPPED doing sales.

So I looked it up, and found this article:

http://business.time.com/2013/05/02/...too-of-course/

Which pretty much affirmed what I thought: The "no-sales-just-lowest-prices" gimmick was a resounding failure. Sales were down 32% in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to another article.

I didn't realize they'd given that up gimmick by at least May, though I knew they were running those "we listened to you" ads.

Well I coulda told em! We love the game! Which is exactly what the above linked article calls it - the game of "fake prices, sales, and coupons." The article calls it "irrational" for customers to prefer the game.

No it ain't. The game is fun. Plus they don't realize we are onto it. Take Kohls, which is near my house. They have one price on things (the manufacturer's retail suggested price), but ring it up as another and then show us how much we saved.

Well, you can go on Amazon and sometimes get that price cheaper. But the shopper who loves the game knows that, and will go to Amazon or elsewhere when that's the case!

Then Kohls also has sales. And if you have a credit card and spend a certain amount a year, because you are an "MVC" (Most Valuable Customer), you also get coupons several times a year, which are 15, 20, or 30% off. (Right now I am in possession of another 30% off coupon).

Well, that's a LOT to work with when playing the game. That's how I got our gravity chairs for less than $35 each.

And if all that weren't enough, you often get Kohls Cash - $10 for every $50 spent. PLUS a few times a year they send me a coupon for $10, just because they lurves me.

By manipulating all this, you really can beat the hell out of other prices elsewhere - which is exactly what the Shopping Game player loves to do.

I say all this not as an ad for Kohls (although it will do for that, too), because it goes for all stores. I use Kohls as an example of why I knew that Penny's idea was doomed. Nothing to play. Plus, the idea that they are just putting the lowest prices you can't really trust, in the sense that you KNOW that they aren't really, if you are a frequent clearance shopper.

So we aren't irrational shoppers, and we know it's a game, but we can win it, and we know, through Internet comparisons, when we do. Also, we like to see what we "saved," and it goes a long way towards convincing a husband of one's thriftiness as well.

So, JCPenney was stupid, and should have consulted me.
I fell back in love with JCP when they allowed me to order online their Black Friday sales last year. I knew my mom wanted new bras, but wasn't able to go to the store. And I also got myself some clothing as I was losing so much weight I really didn't want to spend a ton of money buying new clothing that I might have outgrown in a few months. I do shop around online quite a bit.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Online shopping with them, mine was not such a good experience. I ordered several clothing items for my girls, way ahead of Christmas. I thought they weren't going to arrive in time. It took weeks. All of them finally made it in time, except one - a tee shirt with a panda screened on it, they said was back-ordered.

So where my younger daughter had a constellation t-shirt, older daughter got a Wrapped-up picture of her panda t-shirt. This was okay, and it was awfully cute. But . . . it never came. I kept checking my email. Finally, around about March, they sent me an email saying it was not going to come. So I gave my daughter a check! haha

Well, so I won't do online Xmas shopping with them again. I would otherwise, though. I think they were just in terrible disarray at that point in time.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Penneys is dreadfully overpriced in the home decor section. I boggled when I went to look at new curtains. Walked straight out, and over to Cost Plus.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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I used to love penney's sheets- good solid colored percale, high cotton, high thread count, lasted forever. I would always buy my kids' sheets there. Good quality, good price-point.

Then one day I bought a twin set and the top sheet had no selvage at the side, and no hem. It was just shredded. And when I took it back for a return [with some difficulty- it was a drive], they gave me a ration of dookie [and nobody else had those sorts of sheets]. So that was the end of Penney's for me.

I don't generally shop at department stores if I can help it- I prefer to support small biz wherever possible- but I'll take Sears and Penney's over the big box stores, when I have to go "mall".
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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This is not a spam message, but it certainly feels like I'm pitching it. I feel guiltily helpful, putting this out there.

Since moving out to KS I've found it difficult to get certain specialty items that are relatively common back East. The nearest local health food store is more than 20 miles away, and the last two times I"ve managed to get there, they were closed in the middle of a weekday. So it's kind of impossible to buy from them when they won't be open.

I started using Vitacost [online] to get a lot of stuff- evoo, coconut oil, multis, herbs, cheese-making and canning supplies, asian cooking things, arnica gel- pretty much anything you'd get in a health food store, and usually for less money than I'd have spent in the local shop [or back east for that matter]. Not always, but they have some great specials.

I highly recommend them. They're timely, honorable, ship right to your door, and you can generally get free shipping on orders over $50. Which adds up to "free stuff" in certain cases- I've done things like add a bunch of pretty candles to an order, obtaining them for what I'd have paid for shipping plus a bit- pretty much getting them for less than half price, all math considered.

Right now they're having a special offering $10 off of an order of $30 or more- and everybody who orders through them via the following link also contributes $10 off on MY orders of $30 or more. Thought it might be of interest.... I was about to order some stuff, and found this deal.

So it's a win-win-win- you get $10 off [plus whatever other sales you find], I get $10 off, and Vitacost gets a new customer.

Click on the link: https://www.vitacostrewards.com/EfFvBT6
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with that.
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