A couple weeks ago I got notified of an exciting campaign that I feel really hit at some of the core messages I try to spread on this blog, that was the ‘Impulse Shopping Compaign’ by Raise. No, it’s not a campaign to encourage you to impulse shop =P Quite the opposite! It’s trying to raise awareness of the ways marketing can ‘trick’ consumers into impulse buys that you end up regretting, something I highlighted loads in my article about how to shop sales smart.
Well, Raise has the same idea and in one of their blog-posts they highlight the fact that flash-sales and flash-sale sites or coupon sites (such as Groupon or Secret Sales) sometimes end up costing you more because you feel pressured to buy something now and end up making an impulse buy that you end up regretting or realising you didn’t need. Bottom line with all sales (remember this!) is that if you wouldn’t have bought the item anyway, then you shouldn’t buy it at sale price. Yes, even if it’s a £10 pair of designer shoes that have been reduced from £500, because if secretly you think they’re hideous and wouldn’t wear them, put that £10 towards something pricier but prettier! The only exception to that is if the item is at such a low price that you’d be as happy throwing that money in the bin.
That’s what I tell myself when I find deals on eBay for, say, £2. I think – ooo, a eyeshadow from No. 7 for £2.50! Can’t go wrong, I’m happy to give it a shot… so I have numerous little bits and bobs of makeup in my bathroom that have only been used twice at most (and one of those times is for the initial swatch) and have been just taking up space and collecting dust ever since – LOL. At the time, I felt it was an adequate price to pay for the thrill of receiving something new in the mail, looking back I wish I didn’t have so much junk laying around that I wasted money on. But something like that is entirely up to your judgement, are you happy to spend £5 just for retail therapy and not for the product itself? That’s perfectly fine! Just as long as you’re aware you’re buying the retail therapy.
However, I do think sometimes flash sale sites ride on that innate chase for a ‘bargain’ that makes up a lot of the retail therapy thrill (for me it does anyway!) and in the end, you think you’re getting the deal but it’s very much the opposite (unless you were going to get the item anyway, I can’t stress that enough! Because sales sites aren’t all bad but what is a bad thing to do is to paint a one-sided view of things and end up ‘demonising’ something).
So this is where Raise comes in, they want to ‘give you a raise’ – they strongly believe in putting the purchasing power back in consumer’s hands, which is something sales sites say they’re doing to do but most of the time doesn’t happen. How does Raise do that? It’s quite a simple concept – Raise is just an online marketplace where you buy and sell gift cards and discount cards.
Say you somehow received a gift card for £10 but you just don’t want it, sell it for, say £5, that’s better than wasting it, right? And trust me, the option of liquidating to cash it preferable over getting a product you don’t want/need any day. Or say you spot something you want to get at H&M. Before you buy it, why not check out if someone’s selling a £10 giftcard for £5 and basically double your purchase power by buying that gift card and using it to purchase what you wanted in the first place! Or buy a 20% discount card if you’re planning a big haul.
I love that it’s a simple idea but very effective. So simple that some entrepreneur out there is bashing their head in for not thinking of it first. So pop over to Raise and have a look (link for buying here and link for selling here), be sure to check if any gift cards you buy is valid for your local stores before buying and remember that a gift card is a good gift too 😉
Let me know if you find anything good!
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