Currently, we have the Grand Amazon Once-in-a-lifetime Sale on, which practically happens every three months. Right now, it has an added allure for the impending wedding and festival season. There are also complaints about poor quality of goods, delayed deliveries, problem in refunds. One can easily see the original price being jacked up, and then a hefty discount shown on that, but who cares?
Human weaknesses exploited here are
- Lure of getting a good bargain
- Wanting higher returns for lower investment
- Fear of ‘Now or Never’ created by the limited time period
- Need to show off new acquisitions to visitors or on social media
- Break from the monotony of a daily grind
- Buying something one doesn’t need because it is cheap
The days of a fixed price tag and “No bargaining” signboards are long over. Yet, the consumer has not benefited much. Constant fluctuations never let consumers know the real value of an item. Quality translates to camera-friendliness and social media engagement, rather than durability or cost-per-use. They buy on perceptions, on their credit card limits – rather than need or value of money.
There is another grocery startup which offers a 100% cash back on purchases made during a certain period. Nobody reads the fine print which means you will never get 100% back, even over a period of one year. Yet, it succeeds…
Economics text books may have to be rewritten. Behavioral economics is fast replacing other theories, but constant fluctuations do not let the theories gain ground.
Can we say, ‘emotional state’ is the new currency, not rupees or dollars? That is what propels buying and selling decisions.