Deal or no deal

Deal or no deal

Discounts calling

Deal or no deal

There are many among us who indulge in retail therapy and are often enticed by discounts and sales. In fact, a large section of customers are lured by marketing gimmicks that scream out slogans like ‘upto 75 percent off’, ‘buy two, get one free’ etc. With shopping, be it at stores or online, going through huge transformation, people talk about how such offers have influenced them .

Nagashree T D, a HR executive, remembers how when she was shopping online once, she found something at a highly discounted price. “But when I received the item, I was shocked to see that the MRP was the ‘discounted price’ quoted. Many websites and shops do this. They increase the prices and slash them down to make the customer feel that they have saved a lot,” she says.

She has been extra careful while shopping online after that. “Deals at shops too can be misleading as they want to get rid of their old stock by giving discounts. Also, sometimes discounts are applicable only to certain products. Since one has made the effort to walk into the store, they end up window shopping or buying other items,” says Nagashree. Preethi Nagabhushana, a homemaker, confesses she has ended up buying similar looking items. “During festival season, when there is sales galore, I have bought similar looking ‘kurtas’ or garments of the same design. The exciting discounts often make one end up hoarding things they don’t need,” she says.

The notion of only women being shopaholics can be set aside as even men have walked down this road. Vivek Vashist, an analyst (HR), says, “There have been instances when I have bought shoes and clothes which I didn’t need. At a mall, when the shopping cart   isn’t full, the customer may end up shopping for future needs. Anticipating needs and indulging in shopping is a common tendency especially when one sees deals,” says Vivek.
Garima Narwani, a counselling psychologist, says that she has also ended up taking the guilt trip. “The customer feels like he or she has struck a winning deal when you get something on discount. The word ‘sale’ makes us alert and we are tuned to check online websites or store outlets. Images of happy people coming out of stores pop up in our head and we end up splurging,” says Garima.

The ‘winning feel’ backfires when one buys things that they didn’t need to spend on immediately. “The feeling of not paying as much as one would have to when the time arises, makes one indulge. They don’t realise that they are still paying for something that wasn’t needed in the first place,” she adds.

Most departmental stores have long waiting lines. “This is where the ease of shopping at the comfort of one’s homes comes into the picture. Big brands have bigger discounts online, and what people fail to see is that prices can be misleading. I have come across people who find shopping therapeutic. To get rid of the guilt of not shopping smartly, they shop even more,” she adds.