Friday, June 7, 2013

Beware the Rewards Program...

Today I got an email from my bike shop....a year or so ago, they initiated a Rewards Program which, like most, reward you with store credits based on how much you spend during the previous year.

When I first got the voucher in my in-box I thought, wow it's been a slow year for me purchase-wise. The reality is that after looking at the program to see exactly how it works, that's not the case at all.  It turns out that their program is bi-annual and not yearly and the total I've spent is about $1500.00 over the last 6 months.
This wouldn't be a big deal except that I haven't bought a new bike in 3 years and haven't made any major upgrades to the several bikes I do have.  As a matter of fact I'm not sure what I've bought although I know I've never walked out of there spending less than $100.00.

I don't mind spending money there. They're an awesome shop, run and staffed by good people. Sure I still order stuff online, sometimes the pricing and lack of sales tax make it impossible for the small local guys to compete, but whenever I can I prefer to support my local bike shop.

After thinking about it though, the fact of the matter is, I would probably be ahead of the game if I just tore this up and threw it away right now.  There's a pretty popular outdoor equipment store with a 3 letter name that I tend to visit regularly and it's the exact same story.  I earn thirty or forty dollars a year in "free money" then go in and spend a couple hundred bucks.

If I was smart, instead of thinking about the $39.44 I'm throwing away, I'd instead think about the additional hundred dollars I won't spend......unfortunately, my brain doesn't work that way.  What I'll do is use this to justify spending money on something I wasn't going to buy and probably don't really need because it's $40.00 cheaper than it normally would have been. Yeah, I know. It's weird logic and probably wouldn't stand up to any financial planning or budgeting logic, but that's how my head works.

In addition, it's only applicable to "full price" items and I'm pretty sure their regular sales offer bigger discounts......oh well, I guess it's not worth trying to apply logic to things like bike shopping anyway so no sense wasting my time trying....besides, I've got to get by the bike shop before this thing expires....

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