I was interested to read that four out of five social media users are “digital bargain hunters”:
“Fresh research conducted by GfK has elicited the perhaps surprising fact that 81% of social media users regularly use vouchers, coupons and deals when online; compared with just 69% of their offline compatriots.
“In part this is down to the greater distribution of such deals via social media with 27% of people finding such deals in this way, whilst just 17% got them from companies/products they follow online, 8% from a friend sharing it, and 4% from a friend posting a ‘like’ or comment about it.” – The Drum, 27 February 2013.
I was only surprised that the figure wasn’t higher! Surely, one of the lovely things about the internet is that if you buy something – anything – the latest vouchers and discounts are at your fingertips. A Google search takes seconds. Everyone loves a good bargain, don’t they?
In truth, I know only too well that my view is not shared by everyone. Just before Christmas, I was approached to appear in the woman’s section of a national newspaper. The newspaper was looking for somebody who was “coupon crazy”, and seemingly I fitted the bill.
The snag? My day job. Or rather, the fact that I had a day job.
It was all going fine until I was asked what my occupation was. The newspaper didn’t want to list me as a blogger, because “the editor doesn’t like it”.
I was asked if I was happy to be described as a “full-time mum” who also had a blog. That would have been fine… only, as anybody who reads Miss Thrifty knows, I’m not a stay-at-home parent. Ah, what a luxury that would be! In real life I, like millions of women and men up and down the country, juggle family life with office life. In my case I run a small business, which specialises in online publishing, copywriting and public relations. It’s hard work sometimes, but I enjoy it.
So I wasn’t happy to be described as something I wasn’t. What a big, fat fib that would have been.
“Perhaps ‘media company director’ would do?” I suggested in an email.
And lo, the answer came back…. No. ‘Media company director’ would most certainly not do.
Nope. It turned out it was “full-time mum” or nothing. At this point I rolled my eyes and dispatched the following email:
“!!! I don’t mind being ‘mum-of-one’ – but if it’s housewife or nothing, they can stick it. It’s 2012, FFS.”
Stick it they did. I don’t know if they found a coupon-crazy, stay-at-home mum in the end. But I was told that one major sticking-point was that the powers-that-be at the newspaper couldn’t understand why, if I had a “successful job”, I would be using voucher codes.
Erm, come again?
At this point the average household’s purse strings are pulled so tight, you could play the Macarena on them. We are five years into the credit crunch; the double-dip recession could yet become a triple-dip; shops and businesses around the country have closed their doors; household bills continue to rise; the job centres are overflowing; the UK’s credit rating has taken a bashing and Government cuts, from child benefit for the wealthy to legal aid for the poor, have affected all of us, regardless of our day jobs and incomes.
So who isn’t using voucher codes? (Apart from well-heeled newspaper executives, obviously.) Readers, get ready to clutch your pearls: something tells me that a lot of those four-out-of-five social media users who use online vouchers, coupons and deals work outside the home. Heck, I’ll even bet that many of them are good at their jobs.
In 2013, isn’t bargain-hunting a national pastime? Or is there still a stigma attached to getting a good discount? What do you think? I’m bouncing this one over to you…
Image credit: Nationaal Archief.