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The staff in the oily rag community projects department have not seen a lot of sunlight lately. They have been busy night and day collecting an analysing the latest survey data about the psychology of oily rag shoppers.
Bargain Hunter shoppers are now the most common types of shopping personality. These shoppers are usually armed with a calculator, torch, and notepad and can be seen searching through the very lowest and highest shelves. They very often work in pairs (this is known as “tag-team shopping”) as this enables hunters to readily compare prices. These tag-team shoppers chatter in clipped phrases, a typical conversation going something like, “ABC three-ply on special, now 1.5% cheaper than a XYZ two-ply textured; minimum purchase six rolls”... “Buy 12.” Nowadays, the more technically proficient hunters will have cell phone capability as text is the preferred mode of communication, lest they alert other shoppers to their discovery.
The second most common shopping personality is the bargain bin buyers. Typically this person shops alone - or if they have a spouse they are usually seen sitting nearby or reading the newspaper in the car. The bargain bin buyer is always in search of sales, and they are drawn to SALE signs like a moth to light. They are often seen in discount variety stores, or checking out the bargain bins in big retail stores. They are often heard saying, “Now that’s a bargain” and their cupboards at home are usually stuffed full of bargain buys that they say will come in handy one day.
Our researchers found fewer power shoppers. These are shoppers with a purpose. They shop alone, are shopping online more, but when they do shop in-store they have a list - and know where it is!
If they do need assistance they don’t muck around with tedious greetings like “How are you?” before asking “Can you tell me where the tomato sauce is please?”, and when they do get directions they never hang about long enough to hear the shopping assistant ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” When blocked by grazer shoppers and trolley jams they can be heard mumbling “com’on, get out of the way” as they swerve their shopping trolleys to avoid collision. They rarely stop for in-store tastings unless they skipped lunch, and do not even bother stopping at bargain bins. They are very likely to be happiest shopping online - with a high speed broadband connection!
They also found increasing number of shopping grumps, which they concluded was a sign of the harder economic times. Shopping grumps hate shopping, and more so in times of rising prices. When shopping they drag their feet grumbling that everything is too expensive, not needed, too big or too small, too this or too that. They complain about the lack of parking, or if there are lots of spaces none are close enough. They moan that the shop assistants are too young, have nose studs, holes in their jeans, too helpful or not helpful enough and they hate it when someone says “Have a nice day”.
When they do buy something it is a minimum purchase item like buying an ice cream (single scoop) to get change for the parking meter.
Fortunately they are not seen all that often in shops because they are usually left at home in the garden or having a good laugh watching Grumpy Old Men or Grumpy Old Women on the tellie or DVD.
Next time you are in the supermarket see if you can spot a hunter, bargain bin buyer or a shopping grump.
Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. If you have a favourite money saving or money-making tip, send it in to us so that we can share it with others. You can contact us via the oily rag website (www.oilyrag.co.nz) or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei
* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ. Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at www.oilyrag.co.nz. The book is available from bookstores and online at www.oilyrag.co.nz.