Currently, there is another discount and coupon phobia under way. Almost on a daily basis, I receive snail mail with special offers. The daily newspaper has advertisements with coupons and promises of discounts attached to it. They come from all sorts of shops: clothes shops, sports shops, furniture shops, special shops. Of course, they also come from department stores.
A discount of 10, 20 or 30 % on all products is quite normal, even if we are talking products that had already been reduced. At ths sports shop, you can see price tags on jackets that say “Minus 30 %” – and then there is an additional discount of 20 %. And, of course, what I buy will be registered on my customer’s card, which means another 5 % off for the next time I go shopping.
When I buy clothes, I get an extra shirt when I buy one. If I buy two pairs of shoes, the third one will be free. The furniture store sends me an avalanche of coupons. 20, 50, 100, 200, even 500 € – dependent on the value of what I buy. The offer is for whatever I want – including brand-name products. And then I get a gift of my choice on top of it. I might for instance choose a toaster, an egg boiler, or similar items.
Enterprises where I never even was a customer offer me a “fidelity bonus”. Lufthansa invites me to book South America Specials, the railway advertises cheap city tours. Either the prices are unbelievable, or else there is an immense discount.
Whenever I open my account at Ebay or other internet business platforms, I also find tons of coupons.
Often, I do not find it easy to remain steadfast against all these temptations.
That makes me angry.
I find it the opposite of respectable. In some way or other, I think good products must also have their price. And that an honest transaction means that the price should be appropriate for the product. The margins should also remain realistic, instead of so steep that the prices can be lowered to one’s hart’s content. And “stinginess-is-great-persons” should not be indirectly subsidized by “I-want-this-now-shoppers”.
Wouldn’t it be nice if products had real prices, honestly calculated on the basis of what development and production cost, including a reasonable margin? Instead of tricky price processing where you count on the reflexes of the consumers who are considered nothing better than animals.
But globalized Late Capitalism probably saw to it that all these things got a little jumbled up. Or else, my ideas are perhaps just outdated.
What do I do about it?
First and foremost, I am at a loss. I always try the same method – buy as little as possible.
And if at one time I decide that I need a new special biker’s jacket, after all, then I adapt to the system and wait shamelessly until I get it for 100 €, instead of the original 400 €. – And I could not care less if it is last year’s fashion.
Shame on me!
(Translated by EG)