Thursday, August 19, 2010

Zipcode profiling strikes again

In January 2009, I blogged twice about zip code profiling, the idea that manufacturer's released their coupons according to where one lived. I live in a small town, but have access to the Dallas paper, so I could compare their coupons. Often, I found I wasn't offered the same deals as those living in the Big City.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

A couple weeks ago, I'm merrily trimming out the coupons I want from the Sunday inserts. I find one for a product I might use for 85 cents off in the Dallas paper. That's an unusual number, but the product looked interesting (it was for a recycled version of something I already buy), so I clipped. As I made my way through the stack of inserts, I looked for it again in the small town version. Sure enough, I found it: only it was 75 cents off.

Same product. Same enticement ad. Different amount of savings.

I was really put out by this. I even sat down and wrote the manufacturer, then dished the letter because as good ol' advice columnist Ann or Abby used to say, don't write a mean letter in haste. The next day I decided it wasn't worth it and wouldn't change a thing. My husband, in the meantime, said it was because there was more competition in the city.

Humph!

Anyway, I looked for the product on my big box's shelves and it wasn't there so I couldn't have used it within its short use-by date anyway.

Then today (heeheehee), I see the product. ON THE CLEARANCE SHELF! Now it could have been on the real shelf last week for all I know cause I only looked once, but it was being clearanced! No one else had bought it either! It was marked to 2/3 its original "value." Now, had I had a decent coupon or two, I might have relieved them of one. Or two. As it is, it'll have to be 2/3 off before I spent real money.

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