Sunday, 7 August 2011

Coupons - A Splurge in Saving's Clothing?


Since the country, nay the planet has been thrown into recession it's only natural that the savvy consumer will try to find a bargain. With tax hikes, wage cuts and the highest unemployment numbers since Angela's Ashes we're all trying to catch a break. 

It's that backdrop that has seen a viral explosion of online coupon sites. What started out as the odd restaurant or small business trying to drum up business in a flailing economy has turned into a multi million euro/dollar/paaand business.  

Every day our inboxes are stuffed to capacity with mega deals, outstanding offers and once in a lifetime deals - never to be repeated - until Tuesday. Try as you might to unsbscribe or opt out, otherwise valuable sites are hopping onto the bandwagon, I'm looking at you Independant.ie. 

Don't get me wrong, I love a bargainous buy as much as the next recessionista and have even bought quite a few. Cheap deals in hotels beside work conferences being my favourite but I have been caught out too. Recently purchasing a €10 deal for 2 week lash inserts in Arnott's that should have retailed at €79! Who doesn't want to look like a pantomime cow? I clicked one for my pal & I and in we trotted. I went first as my pal popped to the loo. Upon her return her eyes were like saucers looking at me, my heart sank. 'Have you anything, eh, smaller than those?' she said. Gutted. Oh yeah, her's turned out fabulous and Jessie here had to bat my way out of the shop, blowing over toddlers in my path. Just as well they were gick and fell off in half an hour eh? 

Not the look I was going for..
In fairness, there are some real deals to had, but I genuinely think the 'before price' suckers us into buying something we never would have before we were collectively smashed. How many of us expected a champagne lunch in the Ritz every Thursday, even at the height of the 'boom'? Surely paying next to nothing for something we don't need is still a loss?

It's the same marketing genius that's behind a certain retail giant's success: 'Ehm, is that an illuminous orange Hawaiian shirt? 'Yeah, I got such a bargain, others paid €700 for it!' 'I'm fairly sure they didn't & that's why it ended up in Tk Maxx for €6.25'

So, tell me, are you a coupon lover or can you see through the hype? I like to think I'm copping on but I've been wrong before... *flutter flutter*


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