On a whim one day I signed up for coupon alerts from Groupon and a few retailer stores that I frequent. You know just to see how the stuff works. This was breaking news in our household since my track record for tracking coupons and eyeing for deals is not exactly glamorous. To my defense I would like to add that while I do have my bouts of shopping spree, in general I am happy spending my time on non-shopping related activities. After tracking Groupon and coupon alerts for the past few months, here are my observations.
– Finding a coupon for buying something you want is like finding a needle in a haystack. You need to go through that haystack to find the needle. And searching through the haystack becomes efficient if you make it a habit because with time and practice you will know where and what to look for.
– There is a very thin line between being a smart shopper and a cheap shopper. A smart shopper makes use of the opportunities, a cheap shopper abuses the opportunities. So beware of your moral compass. It’s easy to get lost in your quest to get smart!
– A deal or a coupon is not necessarily about saving money, it can be about spending on something that you wouldn’t spend otherwise. And as long these indulgences are far and between, why not! Of course, the key words being “far and between”.
– Just because there is a significant markdown on something, doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting away with a good deal. Do some comparison shopping for reality check.
– Of the four retailers I tracked, my personal favorite is Old Navy. Target and Sears offer reasonable prices any day, so the marginal utility from tracking these retailers diminished after some time. Kohl’s makes me feel like I am taken for a ride. C’mon how can a retailer operating for profit offer things on sale every other day. If anybody has insights on their business model or have positive shopping experience, please share your wisdom with me.
– Old Navy deserves a separate bullet point. I take special interest on their emails for the sole reason that the store is closer to home. They have their share of sales tactics, but overall I see that if I time my purchase close to a holiday and combine it with their 30% off coupon (which Da says is available any day with a simple google search for Old Navy coupons), then I get away with a good deal. This Thanksgiving Day with a Groupon of 50% and their 50% off sale, I shopped at Old Navy.
See, I too am a savvy shopper! Tell me, tell me, what are your shopping stories?