Hello all you bargain hunters!
I expect you are hungry for some mega discounts this weekend am I right?
….You won’t find any here, I’m sorry. I apologise if you feel like I’ve led you here under false pretences.
I want to offer something different instead.
For every pound you spend in Anything But Plastic’s shop this Black Friday weekend, I will personally go out and pick up 10 pieces of litter!
That means if you spend £10 I will be picking up 100 pieces of rubbish. I could end up litter picking a landfill worth if the shop gets especially busy!
I do quite a bit of litter picking anyway, but there is so much litter everywhere nowadays and in many places in the UK litter won’t get picked up unless you or I, or a team of volunteers do it. This mess won’t sort itself out, so let’s do some good and get binning together. 😊
Why can’t I just be like a regular shop and have a sale like everyone else?
Truth be told, I am not a big fan of sales. Sales make me feel… well, dishonest I suppose. When you know the mark ups on every product and what it is actually worth as opposed to its RRP, sales either have one or two outcomes.
1) Sales are used a marketing ploy to rip the customers off, e.g. those businesses that seem to have 60% off or similar all the time. You think you are getting a bargain, but you are not. The sale price is basically the RRP, not what extravagant price it says on the label. Their mark up on those products tends to be massive, because they are incredibly cheap to make. These businesses make a lot of money off the attention grabbing ‘idea’ of a big saving. There are sneaky ways to get around having a sale all the time, because you are not supposed to. If you frequent such shops never buy the item at full price, it’ll be on sale soon enough.
2) The business feels like it has to compete with other brands and so rips itself off by slashing its prices too low to make much profit. If you don’t sell a vast amount of stock, then you might not cover your overheads. A lot of retailers operate at a loss despite high turnovers partly because of this constant competition. This can be devastating for small businesses.
Sales are useful for a business if for example, that business accidently bought in a product that doesn’t sell. A sale can be a way of luring the customer to buy something ugly or useless (I’m especially thinking of clothing here) just so the business isn’t sitting on dead money that they invested in bad stock. This is unfortunate if you vastly overestimate the interest a product will drive and buy loads for it to not sell. It is not easy to guess how much stock you will need or what exactly will sell, especially when just starting out like myself. It’s all one massive guessing game. I personally would rather sell out of something than end up with lots of unsold stock.
A better understanding between customer and retailer is needed if we are to establish better buying practices for all. Waste is not good for anyone, be they a business with unsellable stock, or a consumer who buys things they don’t need and never use. We all need to be a bit more switched on, and not just buy things for the sake of it. Everything we own or buy costs more than just the amount it says on the label. We need to take into account the costs to the environment, with the materials a product is made from and the energy it takes to make and transport it. We also need to consider the costs to people, those who are involved with gathering the materials a product is made from, as well as those who make the product.
These hidden costs are important. You might think you’ve won something when you find an absolute bargain in the sale, but where there are winners there are also losers. A drop in profit might be passed along the supply chain. This could mean that those people who make the product get less, or the manufacturer buys a cheaper material which might mean they switch from an organic product to non-organic, which is obviously not as eco-friendly. The cheaper you go, the worse it gets for the environment and all the people involved making that product generally. So next time you see something advertised as a steal, stop and think about it before you click that alluring BUY NOW button.
At Anything But Plastic you may find small discounts hidden away here and there, but I will tell you exactly why a discount exists rather than just cry ‘sale!’ Not silly reasons like Black Friday anyway. I’d rather provide you, the customer, the opportunity to give a little in some way than save you a couple of pounds. I’m unlikely to do massive discounts because I sell mainly low value items so don’t have big profit margins. It’s the whole, drive more customers to you vs. are you making enough money to continue running this shop? If I had loads of mega sales to start with, then I would have no chance of expanding my product selection, which would be self-defeating in the end. My dreams of a one stop plastic-free shop depend on this. Plus, everyone has sales. Boring. I’ll try and implement quirkier incentives that make the world better in some way every now and then instead.
Reader, I shall appeal to you directly here, what, may I ask, is your opinion on sales? Is all I’ve said just a load of codswallop or an enlightening belief you espouse wholeheartedly? Have my idealist tendencies ran too far away from me this time? If you have any ideas for alternatives to sales or just opinions in general, then let me know.
In the meantime, I wonder how much rubbish I’ll be collecting after this weekend?
Saleing away on the winds of high ambition,
This sale will not prevail,