Melissa, where were you when I needed you?

The article below is actually an email I received from my client James in Houston, TX.

It’s hilariously educational. Enjoy! – Melissa 

By James H.

I love bacon. However it always leaves an odor in your house when you make it. And, I make it the old fashion way, on the skillet. To combat the odor, I light candles around the house. And here’s where our story begins:

A few weeks ago I bought some candles. These candles run on average $10 each, therefore 6 candles can cost a small fortune. After my purchase, the sales associate gave me a flyer which advertised a spring fling in two weeks. He said to come back and receive $15% off my purchase. HOWEVER, this also applied to on-sale items which will be an average of 20% off.

So it’s now Saturday, two weeks later, and I’m going to get my candles. I arrive at the store and am instantly greeted by a sales associate who wanted to register me in their system. But, I was mean and surly. “I only came for some candles! Why do I need to register?” I replied. She politely said, “That’s how you get the discount sir.” So I complied. She then asked if I wanted to register for an in-store drawing. I was like, whatever. I never win anything. I just want my candles and I’m out.

As I walked around the store smelling the various scents, I was approached by another sales associate. “May I help you?” she said. Again, I was mean and surly. “I’m here to get some candles and NO, I don’t need your help!!” After this scolding she went away and crawled back to her corner of the store.

Then, just as I was walking to the counter with my candles, the initial sales associate ran up to me and asked, “Did you get your gift card!? You won!” A bit shocked, I softened and said I didn’t hear my name called. “Well you won!” she said. So, I got my gift card and was feeling pretty good about myself. After all I was going to get $10 off my purchase. I’m living the Savvy Life, or so I thought.

As I continued to walk around the store, I noticed some bowls. We have been making shrimp and risotto and these bowls would be perfect for our place setting. They were only $6 on sale for 20% off less 15% for the spring fling. AND, I had a $10 gift card. I’m winning, right?

Well, then I noticed some table mats and they were only, you guessed it $6 on sale for 20% off less 15% for the spring fling. How bad can it be, right?

Then I noticed some napkins and they were only, you guessed it $6 on sale for 20% off less 15% for the spring fling.

By the time I was done with my $6 purchases I had spent $160 on a table runner, 6 bowls, 6 candles, 12 table mats, and 12 napkins. It was the gift card that got me and the fact that everything was only $6 on sale for 20% off less 15%. How bad could it be?

Epic Fail. The Not So Savvy Life.

On the bright side I received a $50 gift card from Neiman Marcus Last Call as a way to get me back in the store. But this time I didn’t fall for it. I bought a $65 dress shirt less the $50 gift card THEN 30% off the balance for the in store sale. I walked out paying just $10.50 for my dress shirt.

It’s amazing how they get you.

I use the Art of Shaving products. They are somewhat expensive, as most shaving paraphernalia is expensive. They sent me a 25% off coupon as a way to get me back in the store, which worked. Although, I actually needed more shaving products, so I was glad I found the coupon. I only needed two things and in the end my purchase was only $30.

After I commented on how good I felt about my purchase the sales associate said to me, “At that price, you could have gotten something else,” as I was looking at all the shaving doodads that I didn’t need. Then I tried to make myself buy something else because the discount was so good. We call that being intoxicated by the intrigue.

As I was struggling with what else to get a the other sales associate said, “Now you know you don’t need anything in this store. You just want it. African Americans have the strongest dollar in retail but we are weak when it comes to saving.” I then turned around and walked out of the store with just my two items thanking him on my way out.

Oh the challenges of being Savvy.