Are people really trying to rip you off? Yes. Yes, they are. And you know what they say about a fool and his money, right?
Take Beth, for example. She thought she’d save some money by shopping at the big department store’s “May Day” sale where she bought a cute sweater for a cool 50% off! Killer deal, right? Maybe—except that she still paid $100 for that sweater. Now, to hear Beth tell it, she would never have paid that much for a sweater but this one was on sale and it just would have been wrong to pass up a half-off sale!
Now I know what you’re thinking: “But if it’s a brand name then…” Maybe. However, unless I’m wearing that brand-name tag on the outside of the sweater, I don’t normally move in circles where someone would come up to me and notice that that particular sweater deserves to cost $200. But maybe that’s just me.
The dirty little secret of the marketplace is that many stores mark up merchandise just so that they can then turn right around and mark it down for a “momentous, one-time-only sale that you can’t afford to miss!”
(Yeah, I can. Really.) And ever notice how often these retail stores offer these “incredible, one-time-only events”? Let’s count ‘em.
In January, there’s the “New Year’s Day Sale” and the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Sale,” not to mention the occasional “Big Snow Event Sale” or “Polar Vortex Sale”.
In February, there are sales for Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday (or a “Presidents’ Day Sale”), and somewhere in the mix between February and March are the Marti-Gras’ sales.
Come March, of course, are the HUGE St. Patrick’s Day sales—and being Irish is not a prerequisite to have a sale commemorating ‘ol St. Pat (although you do have to like collecting a little green). And these “Pot O’ Gold” sales continue for at least two weeks—or until followed by the “Spring Forward” sales (celebrating the dawn of daylight savings time). Of course, then the “Spring” sales immediately commence, regardless of whether Mother Nature has finished her infamous snow dumps or not. (“Not” seldom occurs .)
In April, there may, in fact, be an “April Fool’s Sale” (no joke)—unless Easter comes early, in which case those sales can run simultaneously for three weeks, overlapping the “Spring Break Sale,” and/or “End of Winter!” sales. And don’t forget all of the weight-loss companies “guaranteeing” that you can lose “UP TO” 15 pounds before summer! (Realize that “up to” starts at a half pound…)
Besides flowers, May brings the afore-mentioned May Day sales as well as Mother’s Day, college graduation sales, and Memorial Day sales.
And on it goes—the big Madison Avenue conspiracy to separate you from your cash.
Summer brings still more grad sales plus more “Big Savings” for Flag Day, Father’s Day, the 4th of July, and “Christmas in July” (with presents!). And that’s not all… Beginning in July are also “Back to School” and “Dog Days of Summer” sales—both of which continue ad nauseam till fall. And don’t forget—you can also lose “UP TO” 15 pounds before fall—if you call right now! (So exciting!!)
Then it’s the “End of Summer” sales, followed immediately by Labor Day sales which continue until the Columbus Day sales (celebrated even by those who strongly disapprove of Christopher Columbus) and Grandparents’ Day sales. Somewhere in the mix begin the Halloween sales because that’s a huge cash cow with people in the U.S. spending $92 billion a year on costumes and candy. Of course, immediately following the nationwide candy chow-down, you can conveniently lose “UP TO” 15 pounds before the holiday parties—and save! (But only if you call in the next 15 seconds.)
November 1st kicks off the Veterans’ Day sales—merrily brought to you by corporations and companies who never give another thought or discount to veterans any other time of year.
And somewhere in there fall the “Fall Back” sales (lamenting the end of daylight savings) and the pre-Thanksgiving sales. These are followed close on by Black Friday sales which now begin on Thanksgiving evening (not to be confused with the Thanksgiving Day sales), the “Super-Saturday” sales and the “Cyber-Monday” sales.
Then, before we’ve barely had time to digest the pumpkin pie, it’s time for the “holiday” sales: Hanukah, Quanza, and Christmas—all the way till 11:59 pm on Christmas Eve. The “After-Christmas” sales begin on December 26th (although the occasional “Christmas Night” sale has been spotted), and post-holiday sales continue till the New Year’s sales—followed closely by the “Lose the Holiday Weight” campaigns (up to 15 pounds). And all of these sales, naturally, drag on until the MLK sales… then rinse and repeat.
Of course, there are also all of the national “Fill-in-the-blank Day” sales—like national Donut Day, Pizza Day, Hat Day, Library/Book Day, National “Smoke-Out” Day (not sure what’s on sale there…), and—drum roll, please… Coffee Day! Add to that gifts for the various Teachers-Policemen-Nurses-Firemen-Administrative Assistants’ days and you have the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to save money dozens of times a year—and that’s not even counting all of the anniversary sales that most stores launch two or three times a year. Just think of all the cash you’re saving!! Especially at “up to” 50% off…
So, grab your water bottles, shopping lists, and riot gear—and hit the malls. And may the sales be with you!
Oh, disclaimer.: Lest anyone become so bothered by this massive corporate conspiracy that sleep aids should become necessary, rest assured—none of this is really true; there is no Madison Avenue back-room think-tank, and no one’s really ripping you off.
I made it all up.