Sales events have lost their luster


Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday sales used to be appointment shopping. I remember pining all Summer for tech I knew I could get a juicy discount on if I waited until November. But today, sales are a constant, with the tentpole appeal gone. Amazon Prime Day has especially lost its luster, devolving into a day where you decide how many cheap Fire HD 10 tablets you can possibly fit in your home. Black Friday was initially contained to the day after Thanksgiving here in the US. Over time, it grew to Thanksgiving Day, then the entire week. Now, I’m pretty sure Black Friday sales start in February. And as disappointing as these sales events have become, it’s not unexpected, as consumers strive for the constant high of getting a good deal.



It’s our fault (sort of)

I partially blame the loss of appeal on us, the consumer. If the technique of constant sales didn’t work, companies wouldn’t use it. It taps into our psychology of needing to feel like we somehow saved a bit of money, and I’m just as guilty as anyone else. If I don’t see a crossed-out MSRP or Reg. Price with a sale price in red next to it, I’m more hesitant to buy, opting to search on other sites for a discount. How often have you browsed through a brick-and-mortar Best Buy only to turn around and scour the web later that evening?

In Mad Men, Jon Hamm’s character explains how using the word “new” in marketing is like a salve that cures an itch we have as a buyer. I think the same can be said for a sale. It’s a warm blanket that reassures us clicking Add to Cart is the right decision, but it’s led to the advent of the perma-sale, which is frankly boring.

The marketer who cried wolf

Unfortunately, if every day is a sale, it becomes desensitizing. I no longer hold the same urgency to buy if I know a sale will be there a week or even a month from now. It also leads to a bit of distrust. How can there be so many sales unless companies inflate the MSRP from the start? If a manufacturer hikes up the price only to shave it under the guise of a discount, nobody wins. While I think the constant sale atmosphere is here to stay in some form, there are ways to make sure you’re getting a real bargain and not a manufactured one.

We’ve lost that loving feeling

Even though the excitement of sales no longer gets our hearts racing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of hunting down a true value. Our Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day guides help highlight the deeper discounts, and more fun can be had by comparing different sales prices to save money. I promise the flash discounts and steep sales aren’t gone — it just isn’t as simple as looking for a price slashed in red.



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2023-12-10 12:01:00

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