Awards, BOGOs, Prizes – Part 3

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Before heading off into somewhat related matters (amid all sorts of possible things the “Miss Universe” beauty show’s just been held), just a few more words here on advertising deals that should certainly be mentioned.  Quite obviously the topic extends well beyond grocery store offers.  Deals are everywhere.  Ultimately it is almost all based on some psychological science(s).  Even psychologists don’t always understand psychological happenings.  With some such thing as a “going out of business sale,” there’s not too much in those to be figured out, but other things can be seriously heady.  Actually, the average person doesn’t need to delve into all of it while in some things a lawyer is useful. 

The bottom line is:  buying (and selling) things can be an out-and-out complicated job – not forty hours per week for money, but easily several hours a week and even then maybe not done as well as it could be done.  Details can have an unusual (amazing) importance.  Last week the aide was sent for a certain brand of bottled distilled or drinking water and the company has the word “Springs” in it’s name.  That company has used blue caps on their bottles all along, but evidently they changed to green very recently.  “Blue cap” as well the name was specified.  What she got (there is no blue on the jug now) was an unwanted brand of spring water that happened to have a blue label.  It was sent back. 

A reasonable amount of care needs to be taken.  Just a run in and hand over money (or just sign on a/the dotted line) can be disastrous for anyone.  Confusing products with any company’s name is not that all-fired unusual, but spending someone else’s money should be with thought.  Specials are on specific things.  Such would only worsen things another degree.  In the end, even if the more “heady” deals aren’t clearly understood, one has to be as exact as possible. It also makes sense to ask about stuff.  It’s also reasonable to assume if it seems fair, there’s company reputation and other people are going along with it, it’s honest.  And it is time to go on to vaguely related discussion. 

There also is such a thing as “buyer beware.”Plate



Awards, BOGOs, Prizes – Part 2

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Some more here on the “BOGOs” before tackling the Awards, Prizes and whatever else might appear in the reasoning of it all along the way.  It should probably be mentioned if not actually discussed that the helper paying full prices for sale items as described last time (maybe because of a lack of a customer card) is not the only “shopping error” in her trips to the market, but one has to deal with what the agency sends until a change can be made.  The chances of changing agencies at the moment are slim.  If it was a one incident deal it wouldn’t be worth much notice.  This discussion is in the hope it might do some good somewhere rather than be just some annoyed complaining. 

Okay, common sense says a national supermarket chain that has pretty much eliminated the competition in an area, as is the case here, doesn’t need special deals at all to be gaining customers.  The customers do not have much choice about where they can buy food essentials.  Yet they do it anyway incurring attendant advertising cost and that’s in addition to cutting the profit margin on the items put on sale.  Nonetheless it is honest dealing.  Several reasons can be behind something being on sale.  A few of the most common reasons don’t take much thought.  One is the items on sale are things people would not ordinarily buy.  They may be standard products, just not a standard purchase. 

A person might take the time to figure out such things in spare time, but if it’s common it makes more sense to try to learn how the system works.  If it says “Buy One Get A Second Free” it means half price if two are taken.  It is a chance to stock up on the item possibly even because of a need to fill up the space allotted to advertising. That is, something needs to be on sale, and what ten items can it be?  If only eight immediately come to mind, there are two choices:  run with the eight and look skimpy or think of two extras.  If the items show up on sale periodically or often, like every few months, it’s likely the store is not just trying to get rid of them.  (More later.) 

Ordinary things can be complicated.Coffee cup

Awards, BOGOs, Prizes – Part 1

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The young woman who was present to help with housekeeping and the like chores was younger than usual; and, perhaps, that was the problem.  She was given a short grocery list and enough money to cover the cost along with explanation that some of the items were on sale.  Now common practice when it comes to grocery store sales promotion is to make items half priced in some way or another.  “BOGO” meaning “buy one get one free” is just one way. If one knows that idea but not the abbreviation, it’s a sign of old age.  A state of modernization is in that abbreviation; it’s been going on so long something had to be done to make it seem  ordinary but slightly different and not old hat.

Anyway, she got a list and a statement carefully pointing out that a couple of the items were on sale.  The idea in that was that if the store was out of them, no need to be getting a substitution as they were not essential.  Those items were being purchased because the price had been cut and they were usable, just not essential.  What that aide bought, however, cost the full price for everything.  The tallying up was done after she left for the week.  Either she didn’t have a customer card or she did not see fit to use it.  What actually happened was never explained. What likely happened was that her understanding didn’t go much beyond a basic “pay it” notion of trade. 

Coming up with notions of individual ownership isn’t hard although the full impact of that is not always clear.  By the same token fair trade isn’t always understood.  There are several factors involved, like how much effort did it take to achieve the ownership.  Medium of exchange (money for instance) may not be realized as such, but most folks do grasp the notion of hand over money for an item chosen which money has been handed over from elsewhere for cause of some sort like service rendered.  “BOGO” reasoning may confuse people – it is legitimate, just more complex.  So is the reasoning behind things like awards and prizes, so the whole kit and caboodle merits a long discussion. 

Everyday things can lead to deep thought.Money


Gee Whiz, It’s 2015

Time continues without numbers, but somewhere back in ancient history someone had the sound idea to pre-count the number of days before a thing, like regular natural events, happened.  It is easy enough to figure out.  A count off from when it happens until it recurs does it.  Put that down on something like some paper in series, and you have a calendar.  That can be like a reminder that’s usable ascending order too.  Give the time period an identity like a name or one of a series of numbers if there’s history in mind.  Thus we get a 2015. 

The numbering can start with any event – like the birth of a child, the start of a contract and the founding of an empire.  Entire social systems are set up on such numbers.  The 2015 simply is one in a series of numbers accepted for use by an assortment of people.  Some use other numbers as well, sometimes in thousands more.  The 2015 is personally noticed because that’s getting to the point that 21st century numbers are getting comfortable.  Senior folk are accustomed to thinking in 19 something or the other numbers. 

Grandma was born in the 1880’s and learned of dire and grand predictions in those times.  A few decades later nuclear power made the dire predictions more likely and grandma looked at her grandchildren with thoughts of the end of the world by the year 2000.  Some did make it into the 21st century, and it’s now clear the world did not end yet.  It may in the not too distant future, but the general forecast time frames of those expectations of long ago have expired.  And, trouble may be everywhere, but not as expected. 

There’s always a chance to be happy.Rainbow