Oh, yeah, baby......

| | Comments (5)

.....and it's why I don't shop at Costco or Sam's or the like. Here's a snippet from the latest World Congress of Families email newsletter, from a report in the NY Times:

Family Quote of the Week: Costco Effect

"Shopping at Costco often goes something like this: Customer comes to buy bulk necessities like toilet paper and dish detergent. Customer buys those items, as well as a pack of giant muffins, three cashmere sweaters and a power tool.

It's more than impulse buying. It is a calculated part of the company's business plan. Call it the Costco effect.

'We always come out with too much,' said Linda Curtis Schneider, who lives in Nashville. 'It's hard to get out of there for under $200.'

...Psychological factors can strongly influence buying behavior, according to Pamela N. Danziger, author of 'Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience' (2006). Shoppers can experience an emotional thrill when they spot a deep discount, or find a particular item before it disappears from the shelves, she said, and creating those kinds of feelings has helped Costco. 'Shopping is recreational there,' she said. 'People seek out this psychological reward.'"

(Source: Julie Bick, "24 Rolls of Toilet Paper, a Tub of Salsa and a Plasma TV," The New York Times, January 28, 2007; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/business/yourmoney/28costco.html .)


I know a lot of people who are the same way about Target. And if you can't control yourself, it's definitely better to just avoid the store completely.

However, if you can manage not to buy any unplanned extras, Costco et al. can be big money-savers. My mom goes to SAMS Club as part of her bi-weekly "big" grocery shopping. I've been with her; she buys the stuff on her list and nothing more. And she does save a lot of money by shopping there.

Not that you're saying this, MamaT, but it seems to me like some people (like in the article above) blame Costco for targeting impulse buying. To me, that's like blaming McDonald's for obesity. The problem is not the store, the problem is that Americans have little or no self-control. Businesses are businesses; they can't be blamed for targeting that.

My thoughts exactly...

I usually blow the "savings" on books, which isn't all bad, but...

Phew -- So it's not just me! I usually say to the check-out guy/gal (pointing to a basketful of stuff) "Guess which one item I came in for..."

Actually, my method for anything other than those places is for my child to explain EXACTLY what he/she needs, why, and then we launch into the mall or store to come out with just that. Window shopping is anathema, cruising to see what strikes the fancy is deadly.

To tell the truth, I think God invented the internet just for me so that I didn't have to shop at the mall ever again. Thank you, God!

I have the same problem at thrift stores. I have blown a lot of money on good deals on things I didn't even know I needed until I saw them. But I do get a thrill, and it really is cheap, but still...

I do shop Sam's, but I take exactly enough cash for the necessities on my list, plus $5 in case something had a price hike. And the $5 is my weekly spending money, so sometimes I come out without an item. But I respect the people who know that walking in is a no-no.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on January 30, 2007 8:17 AM.

Yesterday's hymns was the previous entry in this blog.

Housewifery thought on grocery shopping..... is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.