Usually I don’t read the column – there are far too many bad tasting “onions” for me. But a friend of mine pointed out this one in a recent issue:
“Onions: To coupons. They are a big nuisance. If stores want to give us a break, they should just lower the price for everybody.”
I understand why people may view coupons as kind of hassle. It takes time to clip, organize and print coupons, and sometimes it can be a pain to get them redeemed, too. Each shopper has to decide if the time invested in couponing is worth the savings.
The idea of eliminating coupons and simply lowering prices for everybody sounds great on paper. Who wouldn’t want to pay one low price for everything? But in actuality, what price is low enough and who decides what that price is? For an avid coupon clipper like me, I want the lowest, rock bottom price and I use coupons to get many products for free or nearly free. But for other people who don’t care about clipping coupons, they may be willing to pay the full price. Which price is the “one low price” for everybody? You can bet that companies would set prices for the people who are willing to pay the full amount.
Asking businesses to stop coupons is simply asking for prices to go up. No company is going to lower their prices out of the kindness of their hearts, or at least, not for long.
Companies offer coupons to make consumers feel good about their products. Consumers like to feel like they’re getting a good deal. If they are able to use a coupon to get a really good deal, it could very well build brand loyalty to that company. Many of those people will pay higher prices even when there aren’t any coupons available.
Using coupons is a choice. As someone who saves hundreds of dollars each month by using coupons, I choose to accept a little bit of inconvenience, for a whole lot of money in my pocket.
I choose to support all of the all of the marketing executives who work to design coupons and coordinate product promotions, the printing companies who make their living from printing coupons, and all of the folks whose job it is to process all of those redeemed coupons.
When we use coupons, we are sending a message to companies about what we buy and what we’re willing to spend. Without coupons, we lose some of our ability to be heard by companies.
Keep on clipping….