LEApro, 14/08/2019 – While many think clipping coupons and chasing the biggest sale will save you a ton of money, there is growing evidence that the opposite is true. Business Insider spoke with several marketing experts and found that the coupon actually benefits the company more than it benefits the consumer.
Here are some ways companies are tricking you into spending more money by offering coupons.
Companies tap into the psychological excitement that you feel when using a coupon.
It’s been proven that an item that costs $200 regularly is less appealing to a consumer than something that is $400 with a 50% discount because of deals and excite people.
“The thrill of using a coupon and getting a better deal than other consumers takes precedence and shoppers lose sight of the actual cost,” Utpal Dholakia, a professor of marketing at Rice University, wrote in Psychology Today. “The result: Regular coupon users often spend more on an item than those who don’t use coupons.”
Coupons typically force people to buy items that they don’t need.
Coupons are designed to lure customers into buying items that they don’t need. In fact, 63% of people said they have bought an item that they don’t need just because they had a coupon for it, according to Consumer Reports.
To avoid falling victim to the scheme, Dholakia told Business Insider you should only use coupons for items you need.
“If we are talking about groceries (where coupons are common), make a shopping list first, then try to find coupons for the items on the list,” Dholakia said. “That way, you will only buy things you need and get a real deal instead of buying things you may not use.”
Companies trick you into buying more than you actually need during the sale.
Brands tap into the “buy in bulk” ideology that couponers love. Consumers believe when you buy more than you need at the moment, it will pay off in the long run. But the truth is that you rarely break even. Most times, you end up with too much of one item and only use a fraction of it while the rest spoils. Bulk buying can even lead to hoarding-like tendencies, unhealthy eating habits, and ultimately, an empty wallet, according to Dholakia.
“They spend more because they end up buying items they don’t really need just because they are on sale, or buying more of any item because of how the promotion is structured,” Dholakia told Business Insider. “This is quite common in grocery product categories but also occurs in other categories like fashion.”
When a coupon has an expiration date, you often feel the need to act fast.
If there is a time crunch attached to a coupon or sale, consumers are more likely to buy a large quantity so that they don’t have to pay full price in the future.
Keeon Yazdani, chief marketing officer of WE R CBD, said his company sends these types of coupons to its customer base regularly.
“Below the coupon code, we always disclose the expiration date for the coupon code,” Yazdani told Business Insider. “We use language like, ‘Act fast! Supplies are limited! Time is running out!’ We have found this builds a sense of urgency with our customers because they will want to stock up on our CBD products before they go back to the original price.”
Coupons are designed to make it easier to spend during the sale.
When using a coupon, it’s easier to talk yourself into going over your budget because you convince yourself that you’re saving money in the long run.
“Using coupons is only one way to go over budget. Many shoppers make impulsive purchases even without coupons which can throw them off track,” Dholakia told Business Insider. “Bottom line: Use coupons with caution and careful thinking. That way, you’ll end up saving money, shopping prudently, and consuming your purchases wisely.” – BUSINESS INSIDER MALAYSIA