31 May '15

Bargain shopping isn't always SMART shopping.

Posted by Rich Jodice

Everyone is looking for a good deal. I get it. It makes sense. You want to get exactly what you want, and at the lowest possible cost. There's no question that bargain shopping is a smart way to save money. In some cases however, bargain shopping can end up costing you MORE money in the long run. You must be thinking "That's just not possible. Bargain shopping is ALWAYS the way to go!" and to that I'll say "You're all sorts of wrong." Let's look at a couple of examples.

Fred walks into a liquor store looking for a specific bottle of wine. He finds what he's searching for and notices it carries a price tag of $54.99. That seems a little steep to him, so he decides to check with a discount wine store down the block. Low and behold he finds the very same bottle there priced at $49.99. Fred proudly lugs the bottle up to the cashier and basks in the sunshine of his victory, pondering what he'll do with the extra $5.00 now burning a hole in his pocket. Fred has now become a prime example of how to successfully bargain shop.  He found the exact item he wanted at a lower cost, and executed.

Fred's feeling a little confident and decides to take this whole bargain shopping thing to the next level. He's a business owner and is looking to outfit his employees with some polo shirts. Searches online finds a site featuring this:

Fred looks for a little more information on the shirt but there's not much to go by. No matter! Fred thinks that's a fantastic deal! Before pulling the trigger however, he decides to do another quick search to see if there's something cheaper out there. He finds another company online and sees this: 

He likes what he sees. There's a plethora of information on the shirts. The company website features examples of their work. There's even a contact number to call and ask questions. But all of that aside, $20.60 per shirt seems outrageous to Fred! His mind keeps going back to $6.00 per shirt. So he goes with the first company and once again basks in the glow of his success. Only this time, that basking is short lived....

Fred receives his package in the mail, and much to his surprise, is extremely disappointed. The shirts are not at all what he expected. They will not stay tucked in, and the fabric feels thin and cheaply made. On top of that, his logo looks unprofessionally stitched, and they didn't get the coloring right. He wonders "Where did I go wrong?" then realizes, he didn't really know what he was buying in the first place. He simply saw a price, and much like he did with the bottle of wine, went with it. Only this time, cheaper didn't equate to better.

Now, these shirts are going to be worn by people representing Fred's business. So he obviously wants them to be pleasing to the eye. If a client comes in and sees sloppy looking employees, that's the first impression they're going to have of the business. Suddenly, this guy pops into Fred's head:

Remember him? Fred sure did! 

He races to the phone and gives Smooth Stitches a call. Tells them about the horrible experience he just had purchasing shirts and wants to make sure he doesn't make the same mistake again.  The customer service rep happily answers all of his questions, and gives him specifics about the process, the shirts and exactly what he can expect. Fred (still licking the wounds from his previous order) isn't comfortable placing a large order just yet, so the CSR suggests he place a sample order so he can see the quality first hand. He does just that.

A few days later, Fred receives an email from Smooth Stitches with an image of his stitch out. He's able to see how the logo will look, and even the coloring they're going to use. They've even included a thread color chart in case he would like a different shade of a specific color used. Fred approves the logo....shortly after his package arrives.

He opens the box. Pulls out a shirt and is mesmerized. The logo is perfect. The shirt is exactly as described. It fits perfectly and stays tucked in. Looks beyond professional. Fred is so happy he immediately calls the company back and confidently orders 10,000 shirts. Sure, he only has 12 employees, but knows wearing these shirts will only help his business grow beyond his wildest dreams. He wants plenty of inventory to hand out to all of the new employees he'll no doubt need to hire in the next few months.

What's the moral of this story? Cheaper isn't always better. That statement couldn't be more true when it comes to purchasing promotional products. In the case of Fred (and I've had this happen to countless clients before contacting us) going with the cheapest option ended up costing him more in the long run. More money, and more time (which we all know EQUALS money in the business world). When you contact us, you'll be put in touch with someone who knows the imprinting process (for whichever item you're looking at) inside and out. They'll explain what materials are being used, why they'll benefit you, and answer any questions you have. Communication is key. And we will communicate with you till we're blue in the face. 

Until next time my friends......