Festive spending – Is buying a lot more important than why to buy?

Festive buying why to spend

In Festive season offers seem irresistible and consumer buying goes through the roof. But how much should you really spend?

Come the festive season and we have consumers loosening their purse strings for buying goods they have been waiting all the year round. Diwali is a time when spending peaks in almost every household in India. Retailers bring in new products and Ecommerce businesses woo customers with special offers and discounts. This time around, the ECommerce giants Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are all set to make it bigger than before in sales.

Biprajeet a zonal manager in a Bangalore based Pharma Company is all set to make his festive spend for the season. Buying apparels for his family and consumer electronics for his son and himself. He has been eyeing all the deals the ECommerce companies have pushing. He is ready to spend INR 45000/-, a saving he made over the last few months from his salary of INR 57000/- every month. This is anticipated spending and ‘the way’ to managing spends this festive season.

The Economic Times stated “India Inc plans Rs 20000 crore blast this festive season” for the four month festive season that is underway. The paper also reported a 12% increase on advertising and marketing spends over last year. The consumer durable industry is said to be the highest ad spender with a 10% increase in their marketing expenditure. Further to this, the daily added that an estimated 40% of annual sales takes place during this time of the year.

Well, all this is proof enough to explain our spending habits this time of the year. It goes without saying that even the most frugal households in India spend most or make most of their purchases during the festive season. Just to clear any misconceptions, – we are not talking about affordability here.

Retail-therapy, impulsive buying, shopping spree are all the different things we do when retail world floods the markets with products and gets cracking on offers and discounts.  Buying a new headphone because it’s on a discount when you buy speakers may be considered as smart buying according to many but it is also unnecessary buying.

Anjali – The Seller’s Buyer

Anjali went shopping in the beginning of the month to one of the supermarkets which is part of the biggest retail chains in the country. Undoubtedly, the store was filled with items tempting you to empty your pocket or hit the maximum limit on your credit card. It is the festive season and the retail chain was more than generous in discounts, ‘buy 1 get 2, 3, 4 or 5 free’ combo offers on special prices, bulk-buying offers and the likes.

The atmosphere in retail stores of this size can play some very interesting games in our minds. The moment Anjali picked up her cart she saw long queues in all the 6 different billing counters. The speakers inside the store were blaring about offers and products displayed at the different racks and spaces. Anjali had to shop for the month’s grocery. This is the Diwali month and she also had some extra shopping to do on provisions to feed the sweet and snack tooth of the family.

‘Buy 5 kg Atta and get 300ml of refined Sunflower oil free’ screamed a placard when Anjali’s eyes were scanning the display boards and its contents on top of every rack and shelf. That is a real deal she thought and picked it up. ‘Buy 5 kgs of Refined Sunflower oil – 1 kg free sugar’ one more killer deal she thought and grabbed that too.

Also Read: Should you have multiple financial advisors?

After she picked up everything on her grocery list, Anjali saw a lot of items captioned ‘festive sale’ with a slashed price and an offer price.  A toaster for 799/- , and a blender for 499/-. Buy both for 1299/-! Simply awesome.  She thought long and hard about using the toaster and blender at home and all that she could cook for the family with it.

All that she needed was a little push to buy, and it came in the form of a salesman who stood there yelling all the dishes that can be done with a blender in a well-rehearsed sales pitch. Anjali picked up the blender.

On the way back to the billing counter Anjali saw quite a few things at very attractive prices, the egg smasher, the apple cutter, the chopper and all of this as a combo which came with a free 3 piece serving laddle set.  She could definitely use them all and dropped it into her cart. Anjali’s total bill came to an amount of INR 6700/- . Of this, provisions which she intended to buy when she left home amounted to INR 4300/-

Anjali over-shopped for INR 2400/- . A cool 35% just during routine shopping for supplies. Many of us shop like Anjali. A casual stroll in the mall over the weekend can have us billing close to 2000/- on things that we may not have bought had we walked in the park and not in the mall.

Key take-aways from Anjali’s shopping:

  1. Anjali bought based on offers and discounts and not based on utility.
  2. Price does not decide the need for the object.
  3. Offers do not decide the quantity we need.
  4. There are many things that are useful but not necessarily to us.

Growing consumerism is a sign of a flourishing economy but may be a bad sign for wealth creation and money management. Online shopping has made its mark today with almost every internet using Indian vying for those deals and offers from ECommerce companies.  Gone are the days when online shopping was considered an easy way to shop. Today it is ‘the best way to shop’. Perhaps, this growth has a lot to do with the buying habits of consumers and the extreme affliction towards modernity and anything that has to do with the e-world.

Plan your festive expenses and work the plan. Be it online or offline. Prudent festive spending is a best way to  enjoying a great festive season not just this year but every other year.

This article has been contributed by Right Horizons

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