The mentality during sales

Jes , 6 Comments

I am not a woman.

That is the opinion of my colleagues after seeing my behaviour during sales. The story is this, we visited some warehouse sales and branded goods were selling at a huge discount and everything was below S$30. The crowd was there, the prices were cheap and the atmosphere was noticeably vibrant. Advice to men: Do not accompany your wife or daughter to these kind of sales because you will be shoved aside and ladies will glare at you for obstructing their way.
Get out of the way! (Source: Wikipedia)
If you have never been to the kind of sales where people snatch goods the moment they are displayed then you have not been to a real sale before. Things are really ugly there. Everyone will grab the clothes and pull so whoever has more strength will get the products, that's how some clothes ended up torn. They will normally grab everything first regardless of size before they slowly decide whether to purchase or not. If not, they will throw the unwanted products at one side and not put it back at the proper racks.

I feel terrorized when I see my colleagues behaving like monsters. They feel that I am too rational.
Witch, Face, Halloween, Hat, Witchcraft, Wizard, Spooky
Monster or your wife?
It's good that they grab the things so I don't have to, and then they let me decide if I want it or not before throwing it aside. But I don't really need this kind of treatment. My mentality is, if can't get then don't buy lor! I don't necessary have to possess it.

For me, it's saving money. Every piece is $30 and I do not have to pay the $30 if the clothes is not to my liking and I know I will not wear it. For them, the saving money part only comes in when they subtract the original price at around $200 to the purchase price at $30... which means their savings is $170. So with this kind of twisted thinking, they really buy a lot, even not so nice clothes which they only wear once or not at all. They can spend a few hundred bucks and think nothing about it as their 'savings' amount to thousands! I feel that they are wasting money.

I really don't understand this behaviour, could it be the herd mentality? It's not just in clothing sales, even in stock market this is prevalent. From wikipedia, herd mentality "describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviours, follow trends, and/or purchase items". This behaviour can end up in disaster, creating bubbles and crashes unexpectedly.
Are you jumping off a cliff? (Source: Powderruns at flickr)
Greed and fear are still the main push factor. We do not want to lose out to others. When we see people buying, we buy it in case we do not get the discount and benefits (Greed). When we see people selling, we are afraid we will be caught and lose more than them so we follow what they do (Fear). We emulate what people are doing because we are not confident of our own decisions.

Do your own research, check out the trends and statistics. Of course, reading from other people and picking up tips are good but don't follow blindly. Make sure that what you buy is a good investment of your money. We may not always be right but at least we minimize the wastage with this rational thought process.


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  1. interesting post

    relevant for my sharing today in class.
    i teach marketing and a large part focus on consumer buying behavior which i often told my class it is irrational and then justified logically by the buyer.

    Some buy it , others don't don't , haha.
    The world is but a drama, a play and we are all part of the stage to make it complete.

    It is the most exciting thing to learn as it reflects on who we are, how we act and what we can learn from observing, studying patterns after patterns.........


  2. Haha, if only more women would think like you! What's wrong with being rational?

    P.S. this is a well known cognitive bias, called the anchoring effect.

  3. Hi Desmond,

    Now is the Christmas sales so I thought it would be quite appropriate. Yeah, consumer buying behaviour is indeed interesting.

    That's why knowing more people broadens our horizon. We will observe and wonder and decide for ourselves what kind of person we wanna be.

    Happy teaching and shopping =P

  4. Hi Weiqi,

    Thanks! Rational is good but peer pressure will make people think it's no good. Particularly when they really do think I am weird.. =S

    Oh great! Learnt something today, anchoring effect tsk tsk tsk... you should take up marketing modules if you like these things, it's pretty fun.

    Enjoy your holidays!

  5. Mob behaviour. "Shiok" has different meaning to different people. Perhaps also a question of where they stand in the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs?

  6. Hi Lizardo,

    Perhaps there is an angle to that... I supposed you mean that they need to feel belonged to the group so they went with the crowd... That could be it but the exaggerated purchases they made could also mean they really want the discounts... hahaha.


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