In today’s economy everyone is looking for the best deals and the best ways to save a dollar or two. Marketers have honed in on this demand and supplied an ample amount of “solutions” to help you save a dollar, at least in your own mind. However, if you observe and calculate the costs of these marketing ploys (for that is what they are) you will realize that your dollars are being taken from you. Understanding how these marketing schemes work is the first step in making money work for you and not you for working for money.
The Savings scheme
Consumers are looking for a deal. If something can be offered at a discount, rarely do they take the time to read the fine print or even analyze the practicality of the offer. For example: Wal-Mart recently posted an ad that said .10 off of every gallon when you purchase 3 cokes for $4.50*. Now when you looked at the * you find that there is a limitation that you only can use the discount up to 15 gallons. So this is not a deal. Here is why:
.10 times 15 = $1.50
If you have to buy 3 cokes for a total of $4.50 then you actually pay $3.50 for your “savings”. Even if you drink usually buy a coke the price difference does not add up. Most vending machines offer coke for about $1.00 to $1.25, so you still end up paying.
The bottom line is that you are always going to pay.
The pay for shipping scheme
Another common financial scheme is to lower prices and have you just pay for shipping or offer free shipping for a product. This is where things get a little tricky. You need to take note of where the product is being shipped from. In most cases, you are paying more than what it would cost to buy directly from the manufacturer. How is this so?
The rate of exchange (which we will cover in another blog) is a big cash cow for many online commerce sites. For example: If the U.S. Dollar is worth about 3.67 AED and it costs 1000 AED to manufacture and another 100 AED to ship, then the equivalent would be $275 US dollars. However, you will not pay that amount. You will pay $500 US dollars with free shipping. See how this works?
1000 +100= 1100
$500 converted = 1835 AED. They make a profit of 735 AED.
The Warehouse Price Scheme
I find it somewhat comical that there is a great draw to the “buy at warehouse prices” scheme. For one, anyone consciences of their finances should ask “whose warehouse is it?” A warehouse price just means that you are paying the same price that someone else paid to buy in bulk and sell it to you (before their mark up to you). Warehouse does not mean manufacturing price. What it does mean is that you will probably spend your money on a bulk item that is either defective or that will not sell easily in the market. Consider, if I have a highly profitable item that is in high demand, would I reduce the price and offer it to competitors or would I increase the sales price to yield a higher profit? Common sense would say that you would raise the price.
So what marketing is catered to consumer?
None, and that is the point. Do not be drawn in by the gimmicks of marketing with the premise of saving your money. Your best bet in investments is to seek local businesses when possible. Smaller businesses are ideal as they have to compete against the major corporations and therefore will offer a more competitive rate in order to stay in business. If you have to buy a product in bulk (for example if you are an Ecommerce store which offers products from other vendors) do a bit of research to see where the product is shipping from. You may come out cheaper buying directly from the manufacturer, especially if you can point out the excessive exchange markup.
Money makes the world go round. We have to use it to live, but at the same time we do not have to become a slave to it. It was once written “All things may be available to me but not everything is profitable for me”. This is very true when it comes to finances and in investments. You may have many options, but not everything which is offered is going to help you make or save money. Understanding how to invest your money from the ground level up to the higher ended investments and portfolios will make money work for you, not you for money.
~ Sondos Shapsogh