Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Princess Dollars and the allure of incentives

There's this Stompin' Tom Connors song that goes, "We'll save a lot of money spendin' money we don't have."

I thought of it when I bought this absolutely necessary pair of Thierry Rabotin slingback heels on sale, for a party last weekend. I was given a $65
off coupon, good till January 30. I immediately beetled to the rest of the sale shoes, racks and racks of brands I like (Rabotin, Arche, Anyi Lu, Cole Haan) to see what else I could buy. That coupon was like a triple shot of espresso to my wallet.

Just a little minute. I don't need another pair of shoes, and I'd blast through over $200 even at the sale-plus-coupon price.

The coupon was bait for Princess Dollars; you know, when you get a $400 jacket for $80, like the brilliant shopper Deja Pseu, and then figure you have "earned" $320 Princess Dollars to spend on something else, not that Pseu was pseuduced by this incentive.

And if you have that mental $320 (theoretical) savings, and then they add a sweetener... whoosh, spending frenzy!

What Princess Dollar bait works best on you? Buy One, Get One Free? Private Sale? Coupon with minimum purchase? (I am totally hooked on Scratch n' Save because I once got 80% off.)

As we begin to refuse to carry so much debt, marketers have to find more alluring and novel enticements.

My favourite is a local prepared food store who offered free manicures and martinis on Friday evenings, if you spent $30.

5 comments:

Mardel said...

Hmm, I think I am past most of those. A dollar saved is still a dollar saved if it isn't spent. However, as I have always gone down to New York or other places to shop, usually with a vague list and a total budget in mind, I might have succumbed to the sale frenzy sparked by Saks and bought more things as long as I was within my hypothetical budget. But then again I might not have.

There are days however, when I would go for the manicure and a martini ploy in a flash.

Imogen Lamport said...

I am a glutton for the sales racks, but only buy what really suits and that I love (no point in wasting money) but I do love to feel that I have got the better end of the transaction by very rarely ever paying full price for an item.

Factory outlets are my other great love!

Duchesse said...

Mardel: What discipline and common sense! Can you send me some?

Imogen: Your comment made me think; I feel most satisfied when I find something at a resale store that's never been worn. Not only is it usually less than a sale rack but I have the odd sense that I have somehow rescued it.

Imogen Lamport said...

True - today I'm wearing a pair of pants that I got at a secondhand shop, never worn, but they fit me like a glove and I love them! There are some true gems at places like that.

Karen said...

I used to get suckered in by DSW (shoes)sending me all sorts of "rewards" in the mail. But I have been so good lately. I have all the shoes I can handle, thank you.

Which makes me think: We should trade coupons and rewards with our friends! We could have martini parties and pass around coupons, old gift cards etc. That way, I might trade my shoe coupons for someone's Children's Place reward. You might have to shop together to make it work, but it could be worth it.