Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Consumer Greed Goes Wild: Extreme Couponers

Wall Street Journal -- "Under a futon in her Charleston, S.C., apartment, Stacy Smith has stashed boxes of soy bars, bags of potato chips, bottles of vitamin water, canned vegetables, soup, barbecue sauce and antibacterial wipes. Her bedroom closet is jammed with soda and shampoo, her bookcase with garlic salt and meat marinades. No, Ms. Smith isn't stocking up for a hurricane. The 39-year-old's apartment is stuffed with groceries because she's one of a growing flock of "extreme couponers."

These discount devotees have formed vast online communities that collectively unearth and swap digital, mobile-phone and paper coupons. The cleverest shoppers combine dozens of coupons and go from store to store buying items in quantity, getting stuff free of charge.

"If you can get 100 packs of toilet paper for free, you're going to," says Erin Libranda, 38. When the resident of Katy, Texas, has amassed enough coupons to buy many months' supply of eggs, she puts tiny cracks in them, adds lemon juice and freezes them."

MP: We hear a lot more about how corporations are disloyal to their communities and employees and about "corporate greed" (
459,000 Google hits) than we hear about "consumer greed" (20,500 hits), but consumers can be pretty disloyal, ruthless and cost-conscious themselves, as this story demonstrates. In fact, there's a marketing aphorism that sums it up pretty well: "There's no brand loyalty that the offer of a 'penny off' can't overcome it."


At 3/09/2010 11:18 AM, Blogger breeze said...

oh big phat surprise. Greed of the povvo's. So long as it's kept in the circles of greed; spose it's a natural response. I dunno, its not my thing.

At 3/09/2010 11:52 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Coupons are given credit by H.J. Heinz for their recent U.S. revenue gains.

I remember people saving "Green Stamps" as kid which were a loyalty program for participating retailers. My mother also saved Betty Crocker symbols from their products to receive a stainless steel flatware set -- which she still uses!


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