How Would You Answer this Question…
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I received a very interesting question from a reader and thought instead of trying to answer it on my own, I would share it with all of you…
I am a college student in my early twenties and have been inspired by this site for over a year now. Even before following this site I have made it a priority to optimize the value of my dollar and watch for sales and use coupons. Your site has helped me to save money on a whole new level and I am so appreciative of that!
My reason for writing in is to inquire about your thoughts on couponing obligations. Please read through this story that happened to me recently:
I purchased a certificate off of a local radio auction (their version of a Groupon) that was $25 for a hair color that was valued at $50. I was excited because $25 for a professional hair color seemed VERY reasonable. However, when I went to the salon she said it would be an extra $10-$20 because of my hair length. Immediately, I showed her my coupon and pointed out that there was no fine print that said additional charges may apply; she said sorry for the confusion, but I would have to pay more. After I took a few deep breaths, I wondered: should I fight this, because it was false advertising; or should I just pay the extra charge and realize that otherwise the beautician would be paying me to do my hair (e.g. cost of overhead, hair dye, time etc.) and she needs to make a living too.
My question is at what point do we, as couponers, step back and realize that we are part of a bigger picture, an economy that is struggling, and the free samples we request from companies, free bracelets where the proceeds would have gone to Haiti and the money we try to make on a variety of products is at the expense (please excuse the pun) of people trying to make a living?
I am not sure what the answer is, but it is a question I have recently been struggling with and would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!
Before opening this up, here are a few thoughts of mine…. when a company offers up a *HOT* promotion, they want your business. Now through the promotion they may in fact lose money, but in turn they are hoping that you return because you like how they operate. For example, when you go get your hair done for the first time and have a great experience, you most likely will be back which means they’ve gained a new customer and hopefully more money!
I personally don’t see taking advantage of promotions, freebies, and other deals as us making it hard for others to earn a living. I think that we are actually helping this depressed economy thrive… when we request a sample and like it, we order it again! When we take advantage of a promotion and enjoy the service we get, we come back again, right?! …And one more thing – these companies are not forced to offer up promotions and/or special offers. They CHOOSE to do this.
Now your turn…