Just Tell Me How Much It Costs!

There is an old english saying that we can "know the price of everything, but the value of nothing" and in our all-consuming, "I want it now", society this saying still has great relevance. When I walk around the supermarket I am bombarded with the offers "half-price", "buy one get one free" otherwise known as "BOGOF", "30% extra" and so on, but what does this actually mean to me, the consumer?

Take the case of fresh strawberries, they seem to have been "half-price" all season, in fact I am sure I have yet to see a punnet without a half-price flash. Do we as consumers actually remember what we paid for our strawberries last year? I don't, but perhaps I could rummage around and find an old till receipt that would tell me. Does the "half-price" flash make us buy more strawberries even though they are always badged as such? Well it certainly attracts our attention as shoppers and make us feel that this could be the good "deal" we've been looking out for! Our eyes instinctively always go to the part of the receipt that tells us what we have saved today on the special offers. If it is a BIG number we feel duly gratified, even if it means we have actually spent more money than we intended or that a week later we throw much of the food away because it has then gone out of date.

If a product is always discounted, how long is it before the reduced price become the "actual" price? When a product is always sold at a reduced rate will this eventually devalue it as a commodity for the consumer?

Do we consider the actual production costs of our purchases? We all start to become uncomfortable at the point of purchase if our attention is drawn to issues such as animal welfare, use of global resources, worker welfare or fairness of trade with suppliers, even more so if we are actually required to make an ethical decision. The problem with ethics is that whilst it is a good idea in the abstract sense, when we are sitting watching television reports, planning corporate social responsibility strategy or having a drink with friends, in the actual sense when it starts to hurt our pockets or require us to implement change then suddenly it isn't as clear-cut.

So, whilst we seem to care about the price of our purchases, do we care about their true value?


Source: www.articletrader.com