- Paul Davidson
Words For <i>Your</i> Enjoyment: Big Sales! (S.F. Edition)
On this joyous Friday, WFME hopes everyone’s distended bellies have finally returned to normal shape, ready to get back to business on this beautiful San Franciscan day. And what better way to experience such a clear, crisp morning but to bring a special “Words For Your Enjoyment” to you from abroad.
This week, the ideas do not come from e-mails or IM’s or hand-written letters on exquisite stationary, but the topic comes from Grandparent camp, who are currently going off on an old-person tirade that goes a little bit something like this:
“Look at all these sales in the paper today. My gosh, there are so many sales. There’s so much savings being passed along to the consumer today. This is a wonderful thing.”
“It’s all psychological. You’re being taken. Sales, shmales. It cost a dollar to make everything, anyway.”
And really, isn’t that the truth? The psychology of “a big sale” is always something that gets us and our consumer buddies out to the stores and gets us to stop in our tracks and enter into a conversation with ourselves as to why, exactly, this product is worth buying:
Me (to myself): Wow, that used to cost $225. Now it’s on sale for $199. That’s twenty-five dollars savings. Hmm. If I buy it, I’ll have twenty-five extra dollars to do anything I want with! That’s like half a week of groceries or a meal out one evening! Twenty-five dollars may not be a hundred, but it’s sure a great savings!
And herein lies the psychological problem. We don’t have $225. That’s the point. But what suddenly BECOMES the point is the savings factor. Consumers quickly think about what they’re saving. No matter the fact that you don’t have $225 to buy something, the fact that you’re now saving $25 bucks makes you mentally figure out how you can spend the $25 you would have spent had you bought it at full price. It’s a mind-f*ck, a word-puzzle, a psychological rebus puzzle. In the end, you’re so happy to be saving something off a price that is ten-times what it cost to manufacture it in the first place, that the fact you’re going into debt on doesn’t much enter into the mental equation.
But strangely — no matter how insane, no matter how often I type these words onto this computer screen — I am already gearing up for saving lots and lots of money! Here, take a look:
$140 Airport Express is NOW $99 (Today Only!) $300 Jacket I Want Desperately is NOW $249 (until Saturday!) $25,000 Car That I Need To Survive is NOW $24,000 (with rebate!) $1500 controllable robot dog that is like oxygen to me is NOW $1350 $25 million Gulfstream Plane that will save me hundreds on air travel, now $24.5 million!
Total Savings: $501,240
It’s a no-brainer, really. No matter if I have the money in the first place — I must buy these products because if I do, I will have saved over five-hundred thousand dollars, which I could really use for a bunch of other things in life. Hell, if I had five-hundred thousand dollars in the bank, I’d never have to work again!! By going shopping, I will be rich!!
Just call me, Pavlov’s dog.