The success of the coupons and group buying deals email company, Groupon, at least guaged by its purported market valuation, has inevitably lead to numerous copycats.
Simultaneously, “bulk emailers” . . cough . . have caught on to the popularity of coupons by email, so I’m now finding a growing number of “local deals, local coupons” offers, ones that I never signed up to receive, in my email inbox.
I’m no exception when it comes to a good deal. I like them. I use coupons. However, there’s a form of math to couponing that goes something like this: I value my time. Time in my life, such as time with my children, is priceless. I can also place a value on my time, an hourly rate, when work is involved. Applying this thinking to couponing I do my best to be certain that the time invested in “finding savings” is far exceeded by the value of the savings.
Whether my time is worth $15/hour or $150/hour it only makes sense to “go about couponing” if the net gain exceeds the value of my time . . and then some.
So how do I apply this economic analysis and strategy to dealing with coupons and deals via email?
Simple. To cut down on the time spent sorting between coupons I likely value or that I “ask for” I set up a separate email account “to receive what I want”.
Any coupons that I “sign up for” are directed to that specific email account.
IF I find I’m getting coupons that I didn’t ask for then I can infer that one of the coupon delivery companies that made a few pennies/pence by selling my email and personal info to “an affiliated” company. I can then begin to narrow down who wants to waste my time and who honor my privacy concerns by looking for details that may reveal “who dunnit”. Once I make that determination I can simply open a new email account, for the coupon providers that I want to keep doing business with, and allow the other account to drift off into space – accepting coupons by email that I will never bother to open.