Sunday, September 2, 2012

An A.P. Article on Shopping

"If I don't have a coupon or it's not on sale, I just won't buy it," says the Yaphank, N.Y., resident

How did that song go? "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without?" The only thing I remember is that someone punched me in the face on accident one day. Either way, the point is, sales are good and I make weird associations to vague stories that I won't explain because it makes me happier. My happiness is more important than your understanding. This is why I'm not a successful writer.

Anyway: "It has bred a group of deal junkies that won't shop unless they see "70 percent" signs or yellow clearance stickers." I don't know if I would have chosen quite that term "deal junky," maybe I would have gone with "frugal" or, if I wanted to be negative without the rather bad association, "penny pinching."

The AP quotes an alleged expert that to break the cycle of deals (which sounds like some sort of Beowulfian struggle) by "attracting shoppers (in ways) that can be just as intoxicating as two-hour sales or coupons. That could mean top-notch service or exclusive merchandise, for instance." Funny fact: No amount of discounts can really make up for that. For example, I recently sucked it up and threw money at an Amazon seller because, unlike GameStop, that seller did not completely screw up my pre-purchase. Good service comes at a premium.

Most of my criticism with the article really focuses on the early part; once we get to the actual reporting, it's solid. It tells us what businesses are doing and reacting to the changing economy. I just feel like we could have cut out some of the navel gazing and expertisms and gotten to the meat of the article.

Either way, I don't think this "deal culture" is about consumers finding it fun to save money so much as they find that it is "practical" that they save money. I think practical trumps fun all the freaking time. ... This is also why I'm boring and writing about an AP article at 5:00 on a Sunday afternoon.


Consider this a peace offering for too much politics thanks to the RNC, and a pre-emptive peace offering for too much politics thanks to the DNC. Also, another use of the Matt's Economics tag! I'd forgotten I had one. I wonder what other Matt tags I have...

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