Shopping – here and there

18 11 2010

I always disliked the discount/sale system which rules the buying habits of the people in US. I don’t know whether  or not there is a term for what I’m thinking, but I despised the way people  (need to) time their purchases based on sales and discounts. It’s one aspect of the modern culture there, which I found very inconvenient and odd.  Of course, there are sales and discounts even in India, but I don’t think they determine the buying patterns to such an extent.

Also, in US the buyer is usually forced to put a lot of effort in order to a make a wise purchase, hunting for deals and dealing with coupons of varied kinds. The more you work, the better the deal you might find. Even in the grocery stores, customers are to use the coupons from the local Sunday paper  in order to avail certain discounts or offers. In short, in US shopping is not for the lazy. You are required to spend some extent of time and energy to explore the deals, if you don’t want get bankrupt :-), or less dramatically – get your dollar’s worth. Of course, I’m speaking for the general middle class there.

Somehow, I feel that shopping in India is easier. True, there are coupons, discounts and sales. But never in the 24 years I’ve been in India had I felt the need to go out of my way to avail the discounts. Anyways, in most cases, all these sales are just a gimmick with no real benefit to the customer. Just increase the price and then offer a discount; or charge for accessories etc.  Though this is true even in US, it is only so to some extent.

There in US, one is most certainly to be perceived as impudent to purchase something without first looking for deals, or so I learnt. 🙂 I remember the kind of uncomprehending stares people used to give me when I tell them about my impulse purchases.  😀

It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my money, but in India I don’t feel the need to hunt for coupons or browse for deals every time I plan to buy something. Some general idea about the prices in various outlets (to decide which one suits my taste and purse) will do for me.

But sadly, like everything, even this culture is slowly getting downloaded from the US to India. These days, I’m seeing a lot of the same type of marketing over here too. I feel like even the people are changing and imitating their counterparts in America in this aspect. Of course, change is inevitable. Westernization is inevitable. I guess I should resign myself to just witness this “development” mutely.

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