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The Non-Sale Sale

A couple of days ago I went to Kohl’s with Mom.  She wanted a pair of new earrings and I decided it was high time I bought a new pair of sunglasses since I sat on my last pair over 7 months ago (and, while I was at it, a new wallet – one that didn’t look like I found it in the garbage). 

I had every intention of saving the receipt to show y’all, but in the frenzy of cleaning my car yesterday I tossed it.  Luckily I have an excellent memory when it comes to receipts (not really, but it seemed like a good segue), here’s approximately how it looked (we paid together):


Gold Earnings…………..$90

Sale Price………….$30


Sale Price………….$20


Sale Price………….$10



You Saved $100!


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In answer to the question I hear you asking in your head: No, I’m not one of those awesome sale-shoppers that can get $100 worth of groceries for a nickel.  We actually put almost zero effort into our $100 in savings; we did bring in the mailer 15% off coupon, but that didn’t require much thought. 

Not to sound like an ingrate, but I’m skeptical about the amount actually we saved.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I’ve never actually bought anything at Kohl’s that wasn’t on sale; not because I’m trying mind you, but because there is always a sale at Kohl’s.  


The Non-Sale Sale

When we saw the $100 savings, we were understandably feeling good.  That’s how Kohl’s wanted us to feel – like we had taken them to town, like we had made off like bandits, like we had gotten a GREAT deal.  

I’ve actually paid less than $10 for sunglasses (50% less) that I liked just as much (and sat on), but I got this pair for 66% off of their original price!  What a deal!  Wait.  Just because they were marked down significantly, does that make them a great deal?

If it seems like everything is always on sale, then is it possible that Kohl’s could just lower their everyday prices and save some money on “SALE!” signs?  Or is it more likely that Kohl’s actually has higher sales when people feel like they are getting good deals?

It’s not a big conspiracy (or is it?), it’s marketing.  The non-sale sale is no different than tailoring prices to end in $.99 or infomercials that offer “two easy payments.”  Marketers understand the psychology of consumers and what “tricks” will lure them to spend more than they otherwise might. 


So you know, I would buy those sunglasses all over again; they are FABULOUS.  I just had to put these so-called “sales” into perspective.  Sorry for being a big party pooper. 



Article publié pour la première fois le 03/11/2010