The Reality of THE BIG SALE

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Alarms are an extremely important part of our lives especially for us, students. Waking up at 5 O’clock in the morning to give oneself the satisfaction that ‘yes, we studied!’ is only possible by setting those one after the other alarms in our smart-phones. But with changing times, the role of alarms in our life has also become much more essential, thanks to the inescapable attractions offered by the online shopping stores. Yes! The era of internet has given us a lot, a lot beyond e-banking and faster services. This ‘a lot’ also includes endless variety of clothes, accessories and anything and everything that brings fashion and style home. So, if you have a good internet connection and a smart phone, you can now go window shopping “online”. Keep on putting more and more filters to define your choice of style, pick and choose the best and then finally CONFIRM it. This is how easy and exciting it has become.

Wonderfully, these e-commerce sites offer products at cheaper prices as compared to the market prices but when they launch their ‘online mega sales’, they make these products much more irresistible. One or two years back, these ‘super discount sales’ were launched not more than once or twice a year but with the increasing popularity and traffic on these websites, they are finding more and better ways to attract customers. Warmly welcoming these time-bound sales, that have catchy advertisements on television, radio and almost all the webpages we visit. They have a prepared plan of the exact time and date of the beginning of the sale and also a decided duration. These ‘bigger than bigger’ sales, for instance, announce the midnight of a particular date as the beginning of the sale and also the particular date that will be the last day to avail the sale. The waiting customers (especially the youth) have the cart already prepared so that as soon as the alarm rings at 12:00 a.m., the order is placed at cheap prices (these sales offer great discounts as high as 50-80%) before being crestfallen by a ‘sold out’ on our choice.

And here is how alarms have changed their roles as they wake you up at the time the sale is launched. To generate more excitement among the users, these shopping sites make catchy short videos and ad films starring Bollywood celebrities. Further, their registered users get emails like – “Set a reminder! Big sale about to begin.” This is how these sites build traffic and publicity. Very creatively, they aim at our attention and we automatically get dragged with our wallets ready to shop. Even if the customers don’t buy anything, they do visit these sites, explore thoroughly and contribute a lot to increase the business.

Undoubtedly, this revolutionised form of shopping is a great way of passing time but it comes with its own set of shortcomings that we, as consumers, deliberately or not, ignore. We start spending more. The heavy discounts become so heavy on our heads that we often buy things that we don’t need, (which by the way is the ultimate triumph of capitalism), and then when we fall short of our monthly pocket money, we start preparing answers to the questions that our parents will probably ask. But there is another ugly aspect of this shiny coin- there are several cases of poor quality products being delivered in order to meet the big quantities demanded at the time of these sales. Furthermore, almost all of the shopping sites launch these mega sales at the same time and a “perfect competition” (cut-throat competition) is created; each site introducing same discount on a huge variety of brands and products, offering choice on one hand and confusion on the other. Online shopping has thus not only made millions of customers but has also reduced the trend of moving to markets and malls and shop from a comparatively limited variety.

Indeed, online mega sales are wardrobe-friendly and are a great combination of latest style and surprises at doorstep. But they incite us to spend more, especially on the things we like more than the things we need. They seem to say, “Go on! Keep spending money” and we being loyal customers, do so without hesitation. So, it is a fun play with some limitations and control needed in addition to making a wise choice between needs and wants and a good knowledge of the charged prices (by making effective comparisons).


About the Author:

Sehaj Sodhi (ISSER, PU Campus)

Bio: The City Beautiful enchanted me from the tranquil hills. Any current in society enlightens my ink on paper. I learn Social Sciences at Panjab University with a hope that I’ll be a prodigy of a kind. Writing to me is a blessing in disguise and if you like it, you can visit https://fathomdeeps.wordpress.com

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