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Is it Possible to Grow Weary of Bargains? [AUDIO]

Black Friday 2011
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

When it comes to a good sale, customers usually run to the store. But, that’s happening less and less according to experts who say many bargain hunters are beginning to suffer from sale fatigue.

“The whole idea of a discount is that you’re going to get a price that’s less than what you think the right price should be,” said Rutgers University Marketing Professor Robert Schindler. “The only time you believe you’re getting a bargain is if you think the real price is greater. Otherwise, you look at it and don’t believe it’s really a discount and you think you can get it for a better price.”

“People don’t think discounts are worthwhile unless the prices being advertised are less than the customer’s internal reference price, or what the customer thinks the price should be,” said Schindler. “So, when a store offers sales on a regular basis, that internal reference price goes down and the deal isn’t as enticing.”

“If retailers really want to bring customers in, they’re going to have to start offering even deeper discounts for longer periods of time,” said Schindler. “They have to beat their expectations and those expectations are based on what they did in previous years.”

“If they want to avoid sale fatigue altogether, they need to get away from using discounts as a quick fix to increase end-of-year sales and use them strategically,” he said.

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