One of my favorite luxuries masquerading as a necessity is choosing something from the make-up counter that I really need during ‘bonus/gift time’. If you are unfamiliar with this concept let me explain, cosmetic companies give away samples of their goods, you receive this ‘gift’ if you spend a specific minimum amount. The gift is nicely packaged and you walk away feeling like you have got a great deal.
When I try and think about what I need to meet the minimum, it is often a struggle. Could this be because I don’t need anything? My methodology/self-delusion usually works like this, well I could always use a moisturizer, I need a moisturizer right? but the moisturizer is $24 and the minimum is $25 maybe I could use an eye pencil, pencils are $15.00 so that’s $40, or I could buy the extra large moisturizer at $42.00, or what about forgetting the moisturizer and buying the serum? that’s $50.00, I am getting older my skin probably needs that the serum, that’s pretty much a necessity.
And so I leave the store having spent more than I planned, open my gift to find yet another mascara to add to the four in the drawer, an eye cream, a lipstick that I will never wear and a mini blusher that will go in the trash and another makeup bag that will go to the charity shop.
So this time I decided I would resist. When shopping in the store where the gifting would take place, I would avoid the urge to buy. As I maneuvered my way around the waiting horde desperate to get their bargains, I did feel a twinge of consumer desire. I caught sight of the glass display showcasing the goodies, the lipstick was a nice color this time, no I didn’t need it, I walked to another department. The loudspeaker system was not about to let me off so easily, it cheerily announced the bonus time was here and enticed me with descriptions of the giveaway. I closed my ears and continued my shopping. When I was done I paid a visit to the restroom proud of myself for not succumbing to the marketing this time, I was home and dry. However I could not avoid the poster on the back of the door advertising the deal once again. Maybe I did need something after all? If in a month or two I needed something the offer would’ve gone and I would have missed out. And then I realized, this is where they get you, the ads scream Limited Supply, Only One Per Customer, Don’t Miss Out.
The psychology of selling is very clever we become addicted to that feeling of getting something for nothing or at cut price. I won’t say I will never chase another bonus or bargain, but I have a new mantra when it comes to any kind of clothes or non-essential shopping. Do I love it? Or do I need it? Would I wear or use it today? If not it does not come home with me.