Monday, January 19, 2009

Buy early, buy often


As we the people have exercised our democratic right not to spend over the past few months we've seen a rash (a rash!) of new and new-again sales techniques to help us part with our money.

The classic buy-one-get-six-free technique has had another run around the park, the 10% off minnow sales have been replaced with 70% off behemoths, and I've received enough catalogues in my letterbox to make a decent sized thatched roof.

Some brochures have tried to cajole me into buying, some have presented me with such darn good value I cannot but buy, and some have promised me all sorts of wonders like fridges so attuned to my every need that I won't know where my friends/loved ones end and my fridge begins.

But none have made me feel like I'm under the rule of a non-benevolent dictator, until now. Today I received one of those book club brochures in the mail; you know, one of those "we'll send you a remaindered crap-arse book every month until the end of time and charge you often and well for the privilege and all that we ask of you in return is that you forget to cancel the direct debit"-type book clubs.

So this book club brochure is full of great-sounding deals like "3 books for $10," VIP this and savings that. It even lists "six great reasons to join [crap-arsed book club] today," which is all well and good until number six: "WE'VE RELAXED THE RULES - You don't have to buy a book from each magazine and you never have to buy a book you don't want. All we ask is that you buy 6 books in your first year of membership."

Firstly, the formatting is straight from the brochure, including the bits where they YELL AT YOU with caps and the bits they pitifully implore you with italics. Secondly, thanks, I guess, for not forcing me to keep a book I really don't want. Um, that's very generous.

And thirdly, telling me they've relaxed the rules doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about being clasped to the bosom of the book club; it makes me think they've opened the gates to the compound and are dangling chocolate-coated books just inside the doorway and that snap! As soon as I sign that direct debit form the gate will close and the Waco-esque cult will resume its normal operations.

On the other hand, they're giving away a free wok set (a set! Including wok, bowls and utensils) with every new membership, and three books for $10 is pretty good, and you don't need an envelope or stamp to send the form away... hand me that pen.

7 comments:

squib said...

Kettle don't do it!!!

In order not to receive their 'crap book of the month' you have to tell them you don't want it and they usually send it before you get the chance because they are counting on you saying, 'oh but I'll have to put it in a parcel satchel and address it and everything and really, how bad can 'The Alchemist' really be?'

I belong to a really annoying 'First Steps' alphabet bookclub. They send 2 books per month but they are Canadian or something and they have really weird words like 'd is for dromedary' and 'i is for inchworm'

Also there was this

http://poetsquib.com/2007/12/12/dear-sirmadam/#more-338

Kettle said...

Squib that sounds very stressful! Although, I do have a bit of a thing for the post office so would probably actually quite enjoy the monthly returns :)

I too have been jibbed by the dromedary and inchworm. I have an Australian animals alphabet poster and I'm still trying to figure out how we get an 'a is for anteater' here at the Antipodes and why oh why they've included 'v is for volcano' as an animal.

Any luck with your letter? I might have to copy and paste :)

Kettle said...

PS, how bad is 'The Alchemist'?

remote control said...

I'm still puzzled by the fridge with the internet connection. Has anyone seen the ad? What's with that? Is there a more impossibly uncomfortable part of the whole house to get online?

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the post office. I cannot think of another nook where you can buy a "how to speak spanish" CD, a printer (for less than the price of a postal stamp), a dodgy calculator, thomas the tank engine pens, magnetic therapy bands and an express post envelope, all at the same place.

squib said...

Well of course they didn't 'get' my green eggs and ham letter

I must admit I've never read it. I've read 'Veronika Decides to Die' though and it was truly awful

Kettle said...

Ah remote control, I've seen those awful ads with the person in the kitchen stooping awkwardly to read the screen on the fridge door. What were they thinking indeed.

Anon, we should form some kind of secret society, call ourselves 'postalamorous'. What's not to love about the post office?

I do hope 'Veronika Decides to Die' wasn't all written in the present tense, squib. That would be truly awful :)