Youth Talk: It’s Freeee! – Polimera, 2014

Hah! Gotcha. Bet that heading caught your attention. Well, I wouldn’t blame you if it did, because who doesn’t want free stuff?

I used to think it was a subcontinent thing – the whole jumping for free stuff. But then I began to realize it’s an all-of-humanity flaw. I should know about this because being a student and on a budget is a Herculean task. Every time I spot the word “Free” or “Sale” or “Discount” or “Win,” my insides squeal in excitement.

With prices of almost everything going up (and it seems like there’s no way in the near future that it’ll come down given the Expo2020 scene and all) our budgets are drastically shrinking. That’s why discounting works, and why almost every outlet does it. From the massive End-of-Season Sales in clothes stores, to the Buy-1-Get-1-FREE offers in the footwear outlets, to the recently started Get-20%-off-Your-Bill in the food stores… no one wants to be left behind in the grand sale race. And oh, don’t forget all those like/share-to-win contests for free giveaways! Phew! That’s a lot of (almost) free things to choose from.

When you look at a price tag that says: “Was – Dh 179 Now – Dh 49” it should make you wonder… how much did that item really cost to produce? And how much is it really worth? I’ve thought about it a lot and can’t figure if outlets are trolling us with the original price and whether they really are giving it away for much less. Here’s my take on this: they ‘show’ us that an item is discounted, we can’t resist to ‘grab the opportunity’ (even if we don’t actually need it). Their sales go up, stock moves faster, more revenue comes in, new stock is ordered, and they make more money. Taadaaaa!

I am not one to complain, as I owe half my wardrobe to sales; you see being a student is an expensive affair and when outlets bring out these offers it is like a Fairy Godmother was sent to keep us happy. I’m not entirely sure how it all works, but I’ll think about that later. Right now I have a ‘free’ dinner voucher to redeem!

Written by: Mugdha Sunil Polimera

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