Random Thoughts

Are we really that dumb?

... many of us must be!

by Jim Tierney

They advertise in the grocery flyers 10 items for $10. Do THEY think that WE think we have to buy 10, rather than only one for a dollar? Other items are advertised for $3.99-$4.99-etc. Will we buy it for $3.99 and not buy it for $4. They’ll list items 2 for $5, 3 for $10, etc. Why not 2 for $4.99? Who knows? Some restaurants advertise “meals under $10” but they usually are $9.99. These sales promotions must work, otherwise why would they do it? Who ARE the people who fall for it?

I do the shopping since I’m retired and my wife is still working. I’m aware of the sales gimmicks and I try to avoid them but sometimes even I get caught. I may see an ad that says “buy one and get one free” and another ad for the same item that says “2 for $5”. Usually the first ad is the better deal but not always, because the item may be more than $5 before you get the second one free. You SHOULD check the price per item even though the 2 for 1 is usually the best deal.

Grocery store coupons seem to be a thing of the past. They used to be for an amount under a dollar and be worth double or even triple the value. My successful shopping trips were when I had triple coupons on sale items. Now, the coupons are usually for $1 and you have to buy 2 or 3 to get the dollar. We once had an edge on the coupons  but no more. However, there IS some of us who WILL buy 3 boxes of cereal to save 33 cents a box, rather than wait for the sale and save a dollar or more on ONE, and buy only ONE.

When my wife comes home from Macy’s, she says “guess how much I saved”. My usual answer is “how much would you have saved if you DIDN’T go.” She’ll show me the sales slip of an item that was originally $66, marked down to $49.50, and 20% off that to $39.00. Macy’s is certainly making a profit on the item at $39 so why would it be marked up to $66 in the first place. Whenever my wife goes to Macy’s she comes home with similar sales slips showing an original amount, the reduced amount, and the 20% off. Does ANYONE pay the original price at Macy’s? and if they do, isn’t it unfair to them because they don’t understand this “Rocket Science”.

Speaking of unfair, what about the poor single individual who usually dines alone and can’t take advantage of a restaurant’s offer of “buy one entrée and get the second one free”. They probably don’t realize it because, after all, it IS Rocket Science, but they may be better off. Clearly, like when I ask my wife “how much would you save if you didn’t go”, when she comes back from Macy’s, by NOT taking “advantage” of the restaurant’s offer, you could save quite a bit. When the bill comes, you may be paying for drinks, appetizers, ONE entrée, desserts, and tip. So to get the one free meal it may cost you about $80.

Now that you have read this, are YOU one of the many who THEY think are dumb enough to fall for their sales promotions?


December 4, 2009


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