Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I wish me a Merry Christmas … I wish me a Merry Christmas …

December 24, 2014

Consumers are spending more on themselves this holiday season.
This trend  is boosting retailer’s sales for now but raising concern of consumer spending after the holidays.

Xmas shopper

Consumers are taking advantage of deals to snap up items for themselves and non-gift items for their families.

Here’s the scoop from Ad Age …

(more…)

Xmas tip: Wrap it up, dummy.

December 21, 2011

For Christmas, Behavioral Economists (you know, the guys who say we’re predictably irrational), say that gifts should be carefully wrapped.

Why?

First, wrapping adds a personal touch … showing that you care enough to select the right wrapping and put some sweat equity into the present.

Second, wrapping adds to the romance (broadly defined), suspense and ritualization … you know: the shaking of the present, the slow reveal, the shouts of joy.

So, (1) do it yourself (2) don’t use newspaper or birthday wrapping (3) don’t say “I wrapped it myself” … that’ll be obvious.

Inspired by: The Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Buying Presents

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Xmas tip: for guys: gadgets … for gals: something expensive (and useless)

December 21, 2011

For Christmas,  Behavioral Economists (you know, the guys who say we’re predictably irrational), advise getting “him” a gadget and getting “her” something expensive and useless.

Excerpted from: The Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Buying Presents

Buying for a guy? Get him a gadget. Buying for a girl? Get her something expensive and useless.

University of Utah Professors Russell Belk and Laurence Coon  found three main purposes for presents: social exchange, economic exchange, or a sign of “agapic” — that would be Greek for “selfless” — love.

In the social sense, gifts were seen as a symbol of commitment.

In the economic context, men saw gifts as a way to get sex.

Women, meanwhile, tended to be more agapic, giving out of the goodness of their hearts.

But what did men and women actually want?

Belk and Coon found women care about the symbolic value, whereas men are more interested in the utility.

So women are best off getting their guy a gadget.

Men are better off going sentimental. Or extravagant.

In his book The Mating Mind, University of New Mexico Professor Geoffrey Miller explained that  the best gifts are “the most useless to women and the most expensive to men.” Flowers. Pricey dinners. Jewelery.

The less useful, the better.

Waste is the most efficient way to a woman’s heart.

Hey, I’m just reporting …

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What’s the best Xmas gift?

December 20, 2011

According to Behavioral Economists (you know, the guys who say we’re predictably irrational), the answer is cash money.

Not just generic money … cash money.

Excerpted from: The Behavioral Economist’s Guide to Buying Presents

What is the single best possible gift? Cash money.

Money is the soundest gift for one simple reason: It guarantees that the recipient gets exactly what they want.

In 1993, economist Joel Waldfogel published a study with a title that only the Grinch could love: “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas.”

Deadweight loss is the term economists use to describe the gap between what we spend on something and what it’s actually worth.

Because people rarely know exactly what their friends and loved ones want, Waldfogel decided to ask a simple, slightly uncomfortable question: How much value do we waste every year by picking the wrong holiday gifts?

He concluded that gift giving “destroys” between a tenth and a third of the value in what we buy.

In other words, if you spend $100 on that Santa-red cardigan at Macy’s, chances are whoever gets it will only value your gift between $70 and $90.

Some groups had a better gift radar than others.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles had the worst sense of what to buy.

Friends and significant others had the best.

But ultimately, cash was just more efficient.

So if you’re feeling uncertainty, don’t guess.

Do everyone a favor and go with greenbacks.

If you want to seem a tad more thoughtful, make it a gift card.

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I wish me a Merry Christmas … I wish me a Merry Christmas …

December 13, 2011

TakeAway: Consumers are spending more on themselves this holiday season. This is boosting retailer’s sales for now but raising concern of consumer spending after the holidays.

* * * * *
Excerpt from AdAge: “On Your Holiday Shopping List This Year: You”

Consumers are taking advantage of deals to snap up items for themselves and non-gift items for their families.

According to the National Retail Federation, six in 10 planned to buy non-gift items this holiday season, spending an average of $130, up from $112 a year ago.

Research from Shopper Sciences found that a majority of shoppers spent more on themselves than on friends and family during the post-Thanksgiving shopping period. And 80% of shoppers surveyed spent more than they planned to.

Some retailers are even marketing the concept of self-gifting. NRF recently highlighted J.Crew, which featured a “Gift Yourself” section on its website, along with the text “To: You, From: You.”

While self-gifting is good news in the near term, in the long term it could prove problematic.

“Many went into the holidays thinking, ‘I need a new laptop, but I’ll wait until the prices are good.’ If consumers are waiting for the holidays, that creates a challenge for retailers [trying to] pull shoppers in the other 10 months of the year. It’s a blessing during the holidays and a curse the rest of the year.”

Edit by ARK

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