If you haven’t used a Redbox video kiosk at your local supermarket recently then you’re missing out on one of the best entertainment deals around. These red kiosks allow you to rent new release videos for only $1, yes really $1.
The kiosks are simple to use. Just swipe your credit card and select a movie which is vended in a plastic protective sleeve. Return the video to any Redbox kiosk in the country the next day and your card is charged $1 plus tax. Want to keep the video an extra day. No problem. When you decide to return it, Redbox charges you $1 for each day that you’ve kept the video.
Redbox is such a deal that Ive become an addict as have thousands of others. But despite this great service there’s a hidden cost that many of us aren’t even aware of.
You see when you rent a video, you have to return it. Sounds obvious but what rented videos do, in effect, is force us to make a repeat trip to the supermarket. Personal finance experts say the key to savings at the grocery store is limiting the amount of trips you make.
This is because each and every time you enter a store you’re likely to make an impulse purchase. In fact, studies reveal that between 40% to 50% of our purchases at a supermarket are impulse buys!
The toughest job for the supermarket is to actually get you into the store. This is one of the reasons that they commonly advertise loss leaders. These are extremely cheap products that are often sold at a loss to the store. Loss leaders lure you into the store where you’ll purchase additional merchandise.
When you rent a $1 video out of a Redbox machine you have committed yourself to a return visit. In essence, cheap videos act like a loss leader to lure you back to the supermarket, where you’re inclined to make impulse purchases.
Yet it isn’t just Redbox video rental kiosks that act as supermarket lures. A variety of non-grocery services are used by grocery stores to get you inside their doors.
Coinstar change machines that convert our change into dollar bills and gift cards are one example. Many supermarkets feature huge floral departments that rival florist shops. Grocery stores commonly offer propane exchange centers, dry cleaning services, photo developing, postage stamps, and even US postal service mail drop boxes.
Each and every one of these services is designed for one thing to lure you into the supermarket where you’ll buy additional groceries, many of which you had no intention of purchasing.
So should you abstain from your $1 video rentals, your propane tank exchanges, or your convenient photo developing? Absolutely not. Just remain cognizant of the fact that your grocery store is expecting you to make impulse purchases when you use these services. Simply refuse and keep more money in your pocketbook.