During this time of year, the world goes a little mad. This madness has only increased in recent years as materialism increases. I am of course talking about the Boxing Day sales. Living in the UK, I remember the days that I would awake in the morning to find bags of clothes that my parents had risen early in the morning to go and buy for me.

Now as a student, with tuition fees and living costs leaving me with almost zero purchasing power, the sales are meaningless. Nevertheless, the shift towards online sales extravaganzas means my junk email inbox is littered with promotions. That is all well and good, companies send emails to inform their customers of sales but what really annoys me is when the sales are fake.

There are certain companies which are my go to for clothes. You can imagine the type. Typical online retailers catering for students/young adults. The funny thing is that almost every week of the year, they send emails declaring that they have some sort of sale. So when it comes to the traditional time of year when sales are in fashion, their marketing campaign really needs to step up a gear. Their emails are identical to the ones they send all year round so there is nothing to really entice regular customers. On further inspection, the items that were on sale last week are still there, at the same price. Perhaps a handful of new additions have been made to the products on sale but nothing substantial. So the email blaring out amazing sale is simply a facade which is meant to play on our weaknesses as materialistic humans.

Did I mention that it is not even boxing day yet? With the rise of online shopping, it seems retailers are becoming even more afraid of losing their customers to other businesses. So they all compete to start their sales as early as possible. First, it was 5am on Boxing Day. Then it became 12am. Now it has expanded to Boxing Day week. For some, it is one long month from Black Friday to Boxing Day and oh let’s not forget, new year sales and then the ‘sale outlet.’

There’s little wonder why some people want the government to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day. Although other than keeping people at home, it won’t really reduce the heightened sense of materialism that exists around this time. All it takes is a simple check of your emails before you are inundated with requests to visit the sale page of every retailer in the country.

The fact is,  there are endless calls decrying the materialistic atmosphere of the holiday period but year on year,  it only becomes worse. There is hope though, as consumers become more aware of the tactics used by those cheeky little retailers (not all are bad), then it is hoped that we will begin to see a shift away from this year sale mania. It won’t happen anytime soon though…

Until Next Time

A Worried Student


16 thoughts on “0% Sale

  1. The fake sales have been noticed here in the States as well. In fact, news reports showed four very large and popular retailers were guilty of it. Penalties have been imposed; a lawsuit has been filed.

    What was recommended by the consumer news correspondents was uniform: Compare prices to the “recommended manufacturing sales price” to determine whether there really *has* been a mark down.

    I remember my final comprehensive business course required a team effort in putting together a business plan and report that used all the business disciplines. The Marketing student told us about the standard practice of listing an item at a particular price point that *seemed* like a sale price but was not. Perhaps we should be going after the standard practice of fake incentives.

    Be diligent – research before you buy.

    Liked by 1 person

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