If you are addicted to sales, get help!

If you have something you’d like to sell, here’s some advice: Don’t just put the item on sale – put the item on “SALE!”

What I mean is this: you need to mark it up and then mark it down. For example, if you want to sell your wide-screen TV online for $150, make sure you write something like this:

“Clearance sale: Sony TV, 55-inches. Almost brand new. Original price: $600, but now only $150 (75 percent off). Only one left! Get it before it’s gone! Don’t miss this chance to SAVE BIG.”

To ensure a slew of potential buyers, you can add this line: “Call in the next 30 minutes and get FREE batteries with your remote!”

This is a tried-and-true formula for many businesses, including department stores, grocery stores and even airlines. They know that many people can’t resist a bargain, even if the bargain is something they don’t really need. Some of these people are shopping addicts – they get a dopamine boost whenever they buy things – but most are sales addicts.

You might be a sales addict if: 

(1) you spend more time in the clearance section of a store than in the rest of the store; 

(2) you have poor eyesight, but can spot a sales sticker in a store from the parking lot; 

(3) when you go to sleep at night, the word “sale” flashes inside your eyes; 

(4) you have a section of unused sale items in your home that’s bigger than the store’s clearance section;

(5) you believe that the best way to save money is to spend it all on sale items.

I am very familiar with sales addiction because a close family member suffers from it. I don’t want to name her, for fear of embarrassing her, so let’s just say that her relationship with me rhymes with “life.”

Whenever she goes shopping, she comes home with a handful of sale items. Some of these items are useful – things we can definitely use – but others, not so much.

She: “Look what I bought in the clearance section. Cat food. Only 10 cents a can. What a bargain!”

Me: “But we don’t have a cat.”

She: “I know, but what if we get one? It was a good deal. If we get a cat, we can feed her for a whole month”

Me: “We are not getting a cat. I’m allergic to cats.”

She: “Sorry, I forgot about that. Maybe we can feed one of the stray cats.”

Me: “The stray cats don’t come to our home, because of our dog.”

She: “Oh yes, I forgot about Lulu. Maybe she might like to try some cat food for a change.”

Lulu, of course, loved the cat food, which justified the purchase and inspired more visits to the clearance section.

As a caring person, I’m writing to my local politicians to see if they can help. You know how the government has a “no fly list” to keep potential terrorists from flying? Well, I’m hoping to put my close family member on a “no sale list.” Whenever she approaches a ‘sale’ section, a uniformed officer will stop her and say, “Sorry, ma’am, you do not have clearance to go to the clearance.”

I am also encouraging her to join the support group SA (Salesaholics Anonymous). SA members commiserate with each other about their struggles.

Young woman: “Hi everyone! My name is Nandita and I’m a salesaholic.”

Group (in unison): “Welcome Nandita!”

Group leader: “Nandita, I’m going to ask you the question we always ask here. Were you able to stay away from all clearance sections this week?”

Nandita: “No, of course not. I bought several items, including a meat grinder.”

Leader: “Do you eat meat often, Nandita?”

Nandita: “No, I am a vegetarian. But it was 90 percent off. What a deal!” 


Image courtesy of Photo by Mike Mozart

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