Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Discount Sale season

Statutory Warning-1 : This is long winding.
Statutory Warning-2 : Reading this might lead to head-ache, numbness of the mind and might induce hatred, indifference, murderous urges among other things. Read at your own risk.

With the economy opening up in the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a marked shift in the market place in India. As someone who was old enough, at that time, to take cognizance of the difference this move resulted in, I am nevertheless not going to go into any kind of details regarding the shifts that happened, why they happened and what the consequences were. Rather I would just restrict myself to mentioning the fact that the market place changed from being a supplier focused one to being a customer focused one. India had entered the global market place.

All of a sudden I, the customer, had so much to choose from that I was like a kid in a candy store. Drool flowing free and un-checked from the corners of the mouth, I was delirious with the plethora of choices suddenly thrust upon me. Right from the embarrassingly humble pin to the unapologetically overbearing luxury transport, my senses were assailed by the options that had unfolded in front of me practically over night. And then it was time for a reality check.

Just like the drooling kid in the candy store who could just drool away to glory but couldn't buy anything, I was also left drooling and palpitating over all that I could indulge in provided I could afford to do so. The economy had opened up all right and that made customer the king but at that time it was only the well-heeled customer that stood the chance of being king (or queen). The rest of us, for whom 'well-heeled' meant having good heels on their soles, were left with no other recourse but to gawp. It’s only in the past few years, almost a good decade and half after the initial market reforms, that we have also started understanding the other meaning of being well-heeled.

During this time frame, the so called middle-class has really started throwing its weight around, as far as the economy is considered. Currently this is the class of people who drive sales and growth of every category of products barring the absolute, beyond-and-above-the-top-shelf category (which, as always, is placed there just so that the ultra well-heeled among us can show-off their ultra well-heeledness). And since the middle class has grown to be of such importance, all companies have started wooing this class as if there is no tomorrow.

These wooing techniques range from the classy to the trashy but so long as the customers spend their hard earned cash, that's hardly to be given any brain space. One common technique used by companies, across product lines, is the discount sale. This is where the products are offered at a reduced price compared to what one would have shelled out during a regular sale. Or, if you are a cynic or tend to listen to one or just don't want to believe the above definition of a discount sale, this is the time when the actual price is inflated like a balloon and a small reduction is offered in that ballooned price. Whatever definition you chose to subscribe to, who would want to pass up the opportunity of paying less to get something they wanted? This is exactly why a discount sale is such a potent customer magnet. So much so, that lot of people I know put off their shopping till the commencement of the discount sale season.

I really am not sure why I started this or where I intended this to go. But since I came this far, I might as well mention this. There is this big furor that has been raised by the commie parties in India about the high profile nuclear-bed-sharing arrangement between India and the U.S. They say that getting into that agreement will definitely curb India's independent nuclear program. The parties that make up the government say that the agreement will benefit India since we will be getting nuclear fuel from the US. I say, listen to me instead. India is the customer, nuclear fuel is the product. Just wait for the discount season to start! No agreements, no hassles, just wait. We have seen a sale being announced for just about everything now (fighter plane designs, nuclear reactors and coolant technology, nuclear war-heads among others). It's about time for nuclear fuel to be offered too.


cyberpenguin said...

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N said...

Hold on to that thought. Great deals (as we call it here) start around thanksgiving.. black friday to be more precise and continue thru the start of the new year.

You may want to check out the return policies though..


me said...

Ya I remember Thanksgiving. Isn't that the time when give me my gifts and I say Thanks!!?? ;)

What is JMHO btw??

Myrilla said...

Good for people to know.