The Discount Addiction

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How many times have you purchased something from a new store or online site because they offered you a discount to try them out? Most likely more than once. However, that first time discount always sticks in the back of your mind. If they can do it once they can do it again.

The prospect of a discount never leaves a customer’s thoughts.

Then, when you haven’t purchased in a while, they send you another campaign, with another discount. And you bite. But now, you know the game and expect another offer to come another day.

Discounts are a road to a dead end customer.

Unless your business model is to discount, you’ve trained your customer that your goods and or services are always on sale and never worth the original asking price. Instead try giving something away instead to entice a sale. Keep the value of your goods and services at your goal price and your customer will learn that they are worth every penny of that price.

People get addicted to discounts. They don’t’ get addicted to free.



  1. Interesting observation Mark. Discounts work, to a point. What we learned with Suixtil (from many angles and industry professionals) was the product was overpriced for the value the consumer wanted for the money. When I would send out discounts via email, our sales would increase. An item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, one can’t inflate a value to term it a luxury item, if the customer does not see the product the same way. We had a lot of great customers who bought at full price and then appreciated the discount when we closed Suixtil USA. However, we also had a number of customers who, only bought at a discount or would email me asking for a further discount (incidentally someone I had given a free shirt to). One well healed customer rang to chastise me for diminishing the brand by offering a discount. When you are sitting on $100,000 of merchandise which does not sell, discounts can also be a means to an end. (And I’ve still got products after all the discounts.) Discounts were our road to trying to unload over priced merchandise. The goal price has to align with the marketplace, a goal price can’t be a wish. #lessonsinretail

  2. Great point Mark. I learned a long time ago that 10-12% of customers only buy based on price and you can have more than 10% of the 10%’ers depending on how you advertise.
    There is a great video on You Tube that really nails the discount customer; “Neo vs Traditional”.
    It’s only 10 minutes long and well worth the time.

  3. vaguely related comment: in some lesser-known car mag about 40 years ago, a n.o.s. stock of dunlop driving suits was offered in a small ad for under $20. I bought a couple and they were stolen, unworn, in my luggage a few months later. they were a great bargain at the time; shoulda bought ’em all and put the stash in storage!

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