Life smiles when we get more than we expect out of it. There is a twinkle in the eyes, the eyebrows arch like a ballerina does, the nostrils quiver with excitement and the lips seem to forget every other emotion than what we call a smile. When this happens, all the hormones in the body come together to complete this happy moment… and we wish this moment never ends. But it does. And life hops on to the next train in search of coupons, cashbacks, and bargains!
Well, what is life if not having a nose to smell out the best of coupon, cashbacks, and bargains… and I mean their offline as well as the online avatars. I remember that day I was sitting in our Study and waiting for a bloggable idea to pop up when Specky, my wife, walked in, switched on her PC and said, ‘Come, travel with me to a land where we love to travel together.’
Now this wasn’t a cryptic signal for anything hard-core you may want to imagine… though this activity did have a lot of huffing and puffing, chugging up and down mind-boggling highways, touching the right spots, and finally squealing in orgasmic delight! Well, we love browsing the net for bargains, cashbacks, and coupons and I believe, the activity is nothing but sensual to the core. So I smiled at Specky, dragged my chair to her side of our Study and we began our journey into the unexpectedness of net-shopping.
We came across coupons for coffees, cashback offers for cars, and bargains for things we already had… until… yes, until we spotted the camera that we had been planning to buy for ages. The best thing about our shopping habit is that we never panic and our buying pattern generally follows this routine:
- We discuss our dream purchase with each other and make a final decision on whether we would like to go ahead with it or not.
- We browse the net and track all offers.
- We wait like a tiger crouched behind high grass until the right offer is sighted.
- We pounce and just gobble it up.
Now the time between our decision and the final purchase can be fast or can stretch through months. As I mentioned earlier, we never panic. With online offers, it is always a case of the one who blinks first, loses. Moreover, online offers need you to be ready for unexpected announcements and, therefore, must be exercise online vigilance on a daily basis.
So as I mentioned, we spotted this camera… but the strange thing was that the camera had a fabulous discount attached to it but only if we routed our purchase through this website. This would entitle us to a cashback coupon that gave the discount structure that edge that we were waiting for. And we decided to take the plunge and ended up happier.
A friend once said, ‘Cashbacks are illusory. They are just incentives that simply subsidised a price that had been raised. Companies are playing with our greed and our impulse to buy where we perceive a discount. I don’t trust such schemes.’
Well, this friend isn’t completely incorrect. But listen, the customer in me loves to feel that he is buying a new car AND a giant screen television… without realising that it may just be the dealer posing to give back some money that I will give back to him! Yes, cashbacks can be quite a fiscal jigsaw but they are nevertheless so heart-warming.
No wonder then that a cashback is like an exclamation comparable to ‘Great!’, ‘Excellent!’ or ‘Dandy!’
Coming to coupons, let me begin by saying that they are ‘the only reason college students read the newspaper.’ I remember when Specky, my wife, was a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of York, our days were packed browsing the massive weekly directories full of coupons. The intranet at the university was also populated with pages of coupons, bargains, and cashbacks offered to students… and so were pages dedicated to this wonderful innovation in the Yorkshire Press. We were perpetually in a dream world filled with coupons, cashbacks, and bargains… and the truth is that we nearly always ended up spending more than our estimated budget because of them!
I wouldn’t say we were foolish to fall for discount offers… after all when words like ‘FREE!’ or ‘30% OFF!’ or ‘Buy 2 get 2’ are flung at you, who has the power to resist? And you generally tell yourself, ‘I’m not really hungry but why miss on a free cappuccino with a burger?’ Yes, coupons really make life spicy!
After reading what I had written, Specky came up to me and asked, ‘You did have a lot to write on cashbacks and coupons. What about bargains?’
‘Aha!’ I said, ‘a good price for an item is always a bargain.’
I then went on to draw my concept of these three wonderful words and said, ‘Cashbacks, coupons, and bargains construct the best smile we can ever imagine!’
27 March 2014