How to Find Thrift Store Treasures

Thrift stores are, by definition, stores that sell secondhand clothes, furniture, and other items at deeply discounted prices. Well-known thrift stores in the United States include Goodwill, ARC, and Salvation Army stores. These three examples have social missions built into their business operations, such as employing developmentally disabled adults or providing donations of money or goods to the underprivileged. For a complex set of reasons, including the fact that thrift stores’ merchandise is used, there is a prevalent stereotype that only people who are very poor can or should shop and thrift stores, and that secondhand products found at thrift stores are bad or worthless.

The Truth about Thrift Stores

It is true that thrift stores often have very large inventories. Because their merchandise is acquired through charitable donations from individuals, they do not select items to keep in stock. As a result, almost everything they receive as a donation ends up for sale in the store, and there can be extreme variation in type and quality. If one doesn’t take the time to look closely in thrift stores, one might get the impression that clothes there are ripped, stained, or otherwise unusable. However, if one takes the time to look closely in thrift stores, one can find clothes that are in excellent condition, even brand new clothes, for very low prices.

Tip #1: Shop by Neighborhood

Thrift store shopping can be particularly productive in large cities if one knows where to look. The first and most important guideline for thrift store shopping, or “thrifting,” is to consider the neighborhood. Donations of clothes and other items usually come from people who live in the area surrounding a thrift store. Therefore, if a thrift store is located in or near an upscale neighborhood or well-to-do part of town, chances

Why You Should Only Go Shopping in a Good Mood

Common wisdom suggests that it’s a bad idea to go grocery shopping while hungry. If you haven’t eaten in some time, chances are everything in the store will look good, and you might end up wasting money by making frivolous purchase you wouldn’t normally make. Hunger clouds your better judgment, and you could end up with a lot of ingredients that add up to nothing, or with several precooked ‘quick fix’ items that you would have been better off leaving behind.

Retail Therapy

The same logic applies to shopping for new clothes, but this fact is far less accepted. When people are in a bad mood, they occasionally head to the mall to make themselves feel better, a phenomenon sometimes called ‘retail therapy’. Retail therapy may work in the short term, but in the long run, engaging in this practice results in losing money by making impulsive buying decisions and spending irrationally. As a general rule, then, it’s better to go shopping in a good mood.

When people feel bad about themselves, they want to surround themselves with items that will make them feel better, whether about their physical appearance, social stature, or romantic prospects. Sometimes, a change is required to get out of a bad mood, and while it’s important to recognize this, a change in wardrobe probably will not ultimately do the trick. Although we might feel compelled to buy clothes that convey a different personality than the clothes we usually wear, the end result of such impulse buys could accomplish the opposite result.

New clothes, if chosen wisely, can inspire confidence, and this could be the motive that drives some people to engage in retail therapy. As with hunger, however, negative emotions can cloud our usual, rational judgment, and cause us to buy things that,

The Concept of Buy Now Pay Later Catalogs

Pushing sales, or rather selling progressive number of units is something that retailers, superstores, and mega stores do on a daily basis. One very good strategy that is implemented by retail stores is the buy now and pay later strategy. As the name suggests, the buy now pay later option gives credit to its consumers. Such catalogs are issued by a variety of retailers in the United States, and in several cases, they have proved to be a great boon, not only for the retailers, but have also proved to be quite convenient for the buyers as well.

Buy Now Pay Later Shopping Catalogs

The mechanism of buy now pay later shopping is very similar to the mechanism of credit cards. When you visit the store, you need to open a credit account with the store. In such cases, all your personal details, such as your identity, credit report, and employment status are checked by the retailer. Often a debit card number is also demanded, for security or collateral purposes. Some stores also take a crossed check that is dated to the next month as an assurance. The process principally differs from enterprise to enterprise. In some cases, the prospectus itself can be ordered home and the ordered items are shipped to your place. This is possible in cases where you are a regular customer of the store and pay through a credit card or you have a certain credit account with the store. Some stores, however, adopt deep scrutiny where in the credit report is analyzed.

There are variations in these catalogs. For example, the catalogs with no credit check are provided to regular customers, who are ready to provide the stores with income details. In some cases, certain stores also take up the risk of

Consignment Shopping―Used is the New ‘New’

Consignment shopping, once thought of as embarrassing and shameful, has now become the chic and fashionable way to shop. No longer do we have to hide and sneak our used purchases from our friends and family. We can now hold our heads up high and proudly exclaim to all the great bargains we have just acquired.

Back in the day, consignment shops were dingy little stores with low lighting and dusty merchandise. The tightening of the purse strings has led to an evolution of the consignment business. Many of the new resale stores are more like boutiques. These places usually accept only new or very gently used items that are up-to-date and trendy. Items are usually priced at one-third of the original cost. You can get a lot more bang for your buck.

Getting a bargain is only part of the appeal of the consignment store. Not only do we save money and get great things, we can also make money by taking in our clothing and furniture and other items that we no longer use. Most resale shops give you 30-60% of the selling price once your items sell. That’s a lot of cash just for getting rid of things that you no longer want! To stretch that bargain even further, you can then turn around and buy things that you DO want from the same consignment store for a discounted price.

In addition to the bargains and the money, another huge appeal is its impact on the environment. The state of the environment is on everyone’s minds these days. Everywhere you turn you hear about reducing your carbon footprint and how to make things more ‘green’. When you buy and sell on consignment, you are doing your part to try to reduce the amount of

Shopping Malls

Previously, there were exclusive shopping centers where a customer could move around the quaint shops or blocks and choose whatever he or she fancied. A shopping mall is no different, its only larger. It is a building or sometimes a set of buildings, with a number of retail outlets. The difference lies in the interconnecting corridors or walks that enable customers to access each unit and move back and forth, if needed, before investing in any particular product or service. The visitors can walk from unit to unit and relax at the in-between sit-outs or snack bars as they shop! Malls are also referred to as retail parks or precincts.

Products and Services Available

Shopping malls are either enclosed retail structures or open-air retail complexes. They flaunt a mix of local shops and international chain stores. They make available easy access to a number of products and services like apparel, electronic items, footwear, accessories, exclusive jewelry, beauty products, and even services! Arcades also enable the shoppers to lounge around, listen to music, entrust children to a play pen, and enjoy a snack or a beverage as they shop. The whole shopping experience has been redefined. It is now a family affair and no more cumbersome even for dad! He gets space to continue work on the laptop or sip on hot chocolate or a lemonade, as mom drains his bank balance!


The early indoor mall was usually two or three-story, complete with a basement and shops located on all levels. Today, the difference is the vertical expansion; it have many more levels. The in-house utilities and the variety has increased too. The concept of the enclosed mall was experimented on and pioneered by the American immigrant from Austria, Victor Gruen. This new generation arcade is an open-air

Advantages of the Buy Now Pay Later Option

The ‘buy now pay later’ option has made shopping even more fun than it ever has been―an unabashed reflection of the consumerist society we live in today. Have you ever experienced the disappointed feeling when you just fell in love with a dress that you felt you must have, only to discover that you had run out of funds? However, now with the order now pay later choice, also called credit shopping, you can go right ahead and buy anything that catches your fancy and pay for it later.

Makes Shopping Faster
It is many online stores that have made buy now pay later shopping even more convenient, by allowing online shoppers to opt for the ‘bill me later’ option when they checkout. The experience with the bill me later option is really simple to use. Most of us lead busy lives; this is the reason why we opt for online shopping. This option makes purchasing through your computer faster than ever before.

No Need to Provide Account Numbers
The process is really fast because of the fact that you need not worry about giving your account numbers, and neither is there any waiting involved. The information that you are obliged to give with the bill me later feature is superficial, which you would have memorized anyway. This is why most impatient shoppers find this option such a boon.

It is Secure
When shopping online, most shoppers want to feel secure. Many people experience a nervous feeling every time they have to enter their account information online, particularly of late with all identity theft cases that have been brought to light. However, with this option, there is no need to give any personal information.

It Offers Attractive Credit Options
Another convenience that many stores offer is credit facilities,

On Thinking Before Buying

Now that it’s November, it’s important to go right out this second and buy as many holiday/Christmas gifts as you can and cannot afford. Don’t wait for the big Thanksgiving sales. Don’t wait for the weekend. Don’t even wait until you’ve read the rest of this article. Go out, right this instant, and buy things! Because if you don’t buy things, it means you don’t love people enough, and everyone will know that you don’t really care about them. Don’t think; just buy! Happy holidays!

Are you a little, or more than a little, tired of that particular set of messages? Are you tired, too, of having the same conversation every year with salespeople, about how it seems like the ‘holiday shopping season’ comes earlier every year? Or of reading human interest stories about intense shopping experiences each year in your local paper? If so, this article’s for you. If not, well, I probably sound like a bit of a Grinch.

But isn’t that kind of funny in itself? Somehow, weariness of the consumer folderol that surrounds the winter holidays gets equated with being a Grinch. Well, don’t worry; I don’t intend to steal Christmas. (Though wasn’t the moral of that story that Christmas isn’t about the presents? That’s at least how the story gets presented, though one might well wonder if we, as consumers-viewers-readers, would find it quite so satisfying if, at the end, the Grinch didn’t bring back all the presents.) Instead, I just want to ask you to think for a moment about buying things. Not about which things you’ll buy and for whom, but about the process of buying things itself.

Spend ten or fifteen minutes really thinking about holiday gift-buying: why you do it, when, and so forth. If you’re feeling hardcore,

Online Shopping: Where to Compare?

As a quick glance through the articles surrounding this one will show, these days, you’re unlikely to find an even halfway savvy consumer buying anything without looking around a little online first. Well, except for eBay auction items, maybe. In fact, I just bought a crummy camera posing as a much better one on eBay, and was so caught up in a small bidding war and in really wanting to get something good for cheap that I didn’t even look the thing up before entering the winning bid. But that’s different―I’m not an even halfway savvy consumer. Maybe a quarter way savvy, but that’s about it. I’m talking here about people who buy smart.

Except here’s the thing: what does it mean to buy smart, actually? I’m not comparison shopping is bad―not at all―but I do want to suggest that even a habit of comparison shopping doesn’t guarantee the ‘best buy’. Moreover, I suspect that doing all one’s comparison shopping online actually makes finding the ‘best buy’ less likely, especially if we really stop to think about what we mean by the ‘best buy’. Here is a personal anecdote to draw out the points I hope to make.

I moved to Paris almost two months ago―Paris, the shopping capital of the world! And I’m broke, working 70-hour weeks to live downtown in a 7th-story walk-up. Now, you might quite reasonably take issue with my life choices, but you cannot dispute that I’m in need of finding the ‘best buy’ with each purchase I make. Especially once you know that I’ve had to mostly furnish this apartment myself, and have been renovating it, too. Let’s re-cap: I’m broke, living in one of the world’s more expensive cities, surrounded by a plethora of options for every consumer decision,

Making Shopping Online as Enjoyable and Safe as Shopping at the Mall

With just a click of your mouse, you can buy virtually any product online―from electronics to gifts, clothing, food, and even cars and homes. The Internet has made it possible for consumers to shop at literally thousands of online stores, browse through dozens of products to find just what they’re looking for, and pay for their purchases without ever leaving home. For many people, e-commerce has completely replaced a Saturday afternoon trip to the mall.

There used to be many inherent flaws and risks associated with online shopping. Computer glitches caused orders to get lost, and poor customer service made it impossible to get problems resolved. Shoppers would often be at the mercy of cybercrooks always on the prowl to take advantage of their naivety and cheat them. But in recent years, e-commerce has become much more safe and secure, thanks to the growing competition of online shops, the security services that rate e-commerce sites, more advanced encryption technology, and shoppers increased Internet savvy. Things can still go wrong, but there are several things you can control that will make your online shopping experience a good one.

Shop at only secure websites.
Secure e-commerce sites use encryption technology to transfer information from your computer to the merchant’s computer. Encryption scrambles the information you send, such as address, phone number, and credit card numbers, to prevent hackers from obtaining the information as it travels from your computer to the store’s computer. The only people who can unscramble the encryption are those who have legitimate access privileges. Usually you can tell if a website is secure if the URL of the site begins with https://. The ‘s’ at the end indicates that the website is secure. You may not actually see the ‘s’ until you proceed to the

Things to Know about Prestige Pricing

Prestige pricing examples
Since our childhood we have believed that a commodity which costs more is of better quality than the one which is cheap. Although both of them fulfill the same requirements and are more or less made of similar components, we still tend to go for the one which is expensive.

Perhaps the most crucial part after developing a new product is setting up its price. An organization needs to cover many aspects such as production cost, transportation cost, advertising costs, profit, etc. Of course they expect to generate some profit because of all the hard work they have put in to manufacture that particular product. Price is the value received in exchange of any product or service. Price is certainly one of the most important components out of the four Ps (promotion, product, and place being the others), since this is the only one element which generates revenue and profit for the company.

Organizations that are successful are clever when it comes to creating a persona and brand which helps them stay at the top of the marketing chain. This is possible only when the company is successful in touching the hearts of consumers. Why do you think people go and have dinner at luxury hotels with sky-high prices? Because they believe that the classy ambiance and the fine dining experience is worth their money.

Prestige brands sell their products using premium pricing. The price does not justify the real production cost, but guarantees a feel-good experience to the consumers. They cunningly tap into the consumer’s soft spot, otherwise how can one justify the purchase of a dress, or footwear that is for $3000, when the actual manufacturing cost is $40?

Prestige pricing also known as premium pricing or image pricing is a pricing strategy implemented

Understanding the 3 Types of Price Discrimination With Examples

3 types of price discrimination
Price discrimination can be referred to as ‘charging different prices for the same goods or services’. Typically, it is carried out to extract maximum possible surplus from the market and also to increase the volume of sales. Inaugural discounts, concessions on volume, special schemes, etc., are nothing but examples of price discrimination.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of price discrimination: First-degree, Second-degree, and Third-degree. Out of these, the third-degree discrimination is more frequently observed/encountered than the others. Nevertheless, there is a limit to such price discrimination, beyond which it can be considered as unhealthy and unethical enough to affect the consumers and, ultimately, the economy. The government, through various mechanisms, tries to restrict such practices.

While, theoretically, we all have encountered such types of price discrimination in our day-to-day lives, let’s delve deeper into the different types with elaborate examples and the economic terms attributed to them.

Types of Price Discrimination

First-degree/Perfect Price Discrimination


1. The seller can accurately collect information about the consumer―his background, economic class, geographic location, individual preferences, etc.

2. The seller has complete knowledge of the highest price the consumer is willing to pay.

3. The seller enjoys some degree of monopoly in the market.

After gaining information about the customer, the seller sells the product to the highest bid that the consumer is willing to offer. In this way, the firm eats up all the consumer surplus. However, this method of price discrimination is rarely seen, since, it is not possible to collect accurate and authentic information of the consumer. Besides, the seller must be able to enjoy monopoly in the market. Also, the transaction costs involved in gaining information about the customer must be compared with the profits gained by implementing such type of price discrimination. However, we can see in

Psychological Pricing Strategy

Psychological pricing or odd price strategy was introduced as a means of marketing, way back in the early 1900s. It is a pricing strategy that helps create a positive psychological impact on buyers and tempts them to purchase a product. One of the oldest proponents of psychological pricing happens to be Tomas Bata, the world-renowned shoe manufacturer. The strategy was widely used by Wal-Mart and Chicago Daily to deal with cut throat competition in the market at the time of their respective introductions. Let us now understand the basic principles of psychological pricing.

Pricing Strategies

Customer Psychology: The demand theory of economics rightly assumes that an average customer makes his buying decision by thinking rationally. However, this pricing strategy is designed to make an average customer buy a certain product by playing with his emotions. In majority of psychological pricing cases, the customer fails to think rationally before finalizing his purchases. And not to forget, these very customers take pride for finding a cheaper deal!

Five Dollar Benefit: To help you understand this situation better, I will give you an example. Let us assume that two competing brands of cars named A and B are priced at $13,995 and $14,000 respectively. The price of car A is lower than that of car B by a mere $5. However, if the price is rounded off, both the cars are actually equally priced. Here we see that the manufacturer of car A is using the psychological pricing strategy. An average buyer fails to think rationally under such circumstances. Instead of rounding off the price to $14000, he tends to round it off to $13000. Here, the seller plays with buyer’s mind by displaying 13000 prominently in the price.

Using Superscripts: Another pricing variation is to display prices with the use

Penetration Pricing Strategy

The mention of penetration pricing strategy always manages to raise eyebrows. Admirable in some cases; cheeky and underhand, otherwise. The intent of penetration pricing is honorable, of course. It simply aims at boosting the market share of an established product or capturing customers in case of a new launch by underpricing it. Implementing this strategy is akin to playing with fire, as a few dubious qualities associated with it can create unnecessary problems for any company.

Advantages of Penetration Pricing

Does penetration pricing work? It definitely does, and it succeeds in taking your rivals completely by surprise, giving them no time to recover from your onslaught. If your sales pick up, thanks to word-of-mouth publicity, nothing else could be better.

1. Penetration price strategy is implemented with the sole intention of spreading your presence in the market. It is an appropriate marketing tool which creates a loyalty base for your product.
2. Deliberate underpricing is suitable for average quality products and new products under automobiles, computer accessories or cosmetics. It also works well for commodities with a shorter shelf life, such as consumable items. The distributors and retailers have reasons to cheer as penetration pricing effectively accelerates the turnover.
3. The low cost manages to generate an interest, especially among those looking to snag a bargain. After this, it is up to the product to impress the consumer. If it gets an approval from the consumer, the company can think of gradually increasing the cost and rake in actual profits.
4. It results in startling your competitors, more so if the product segment is overflowing with options for the consumer. If a rival product is looking to enter the market, your penetration pricing strategy will arrest it by grabbing a lion’s share in consumer preference. It puts

Skimming Pricing Strategy

We all know what price means in terms of commercial goods and services – it is the value we pay in exchange for receiving such goods and services. On the consumer’s side, the process of such a receipt of goods/services in exchange of a price paid is what we know as purchase or buying. On the manufacturer’s/service provider’s/seller’s side, the process of parting with such goods/services in exchange for the price received is known as sale or selling. Have you ever wondered on what basis the prices of commercial goods and services are fixed? Well, the price is the sum total of all the costs incurred in producing/procuring the goods/services plus a profit percentage which can be calculated either on the cost price or the selling price.

What is Market Skimming Policy?
As the name suggests, the market skimming strategy seeks to skim away or churn out all those customers from the market who are willing to pay a higher price just to get access to the marketer’s products or services before anyone else does. This customer segment is considered as the creme-de-la-creme, the premium segment that has a very high consumer’s surplus in terms of their demand for the product or service and are willing to pay a higher price for outstripping their contemporaries in owning such a product. Market skimming is a variant of discriminatory pricing strategy. The strategy of market skimming is to charge a higher price for a product during its initial launch in the market. Once the premium paying customer segment has been optimally exploited, the price of the product is, then, gradually lowered in order to exploit the other, lower paying consumer segments.

Adopting a skimming pricing strategy is a good way for firms, that have incurred sunk costs, to

What is Price Gouging?

The simple and straight definition of this concept is pricing and selling at a price level, that is substantially higher than the fair price level.

Price Fixation and Cost Fixation

The concept of market is made up 4 important factions. Firstly, there is the product or the commodity that is sold by the supplier/producer. Next, there is the supply, that is number of units that are supplied into the market. Third, there is the demand for the supplied commodity or unit, which is of course backed by the ability of the consumer to pay for the same. Last, there is the price of the product.

There are two basic ways in which price of any commodity is ascertained.

– Costing is the primary, or initial method with the help of which price is set. Costing is a technique where the price of the commodity/product is derived at the factory level. In such a case, cost of production plus overheads, plus taxes, plus transportation cost, plus profit margin, determine the cost of the commodity.
– Once this commodity enters the market, a certain demand for it gets generated. The basic rule of thumb that is observed is that more the demand, for lesser units, the more is the price of the commodity. The less the demand the lesser the price. The same principle works the other way round also. That is, the more the units supplied, the less is the cost, and the less the supply the greater is the price. This principle is known as the demand and supply analysis.

Now, based upon these two principles, the suppliers/producers can also manipulate and escalate, or even inflate, the price levels in an unethical manner. Here’s an explanation on how it is done, or why it is deemed to be unethical.