Luxury shoppers want bargains

When affluent shoppers go shopping for luxury, the majority look for and find a bargain, according to new research on the luxury shopper.

“Affluent shoppers, i.e. those who can afford to pay full price, are not choosing to buy Manonlo Blahnik shoes at Bluefly.com or Isaac Mizrahi at Target because they need to save money,” explains luxury marketing expert Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa., and author of Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need. “They do it for the psychological reward they get from being a good shopper.”

“They seek out luxury products on sale because it is fun to find a bargain. They get a thrill beating the shopping establishment at their own game. In effect, the shopper wins and the store loses. Shopping for luxury bargains isn’t about saving money. Rather it’s the excitement of discount shopping that drives the affluent consumers to seek out bargains,” Danziger says.

“As luxury marketers, we have been trained to think that the discounting of luxury goods devalues the brand,” Danziger adds. “But research among the luxury consumers doesn’t support that assumption. The luxury shopper is a savvy shopper who knows where to find the best price. And increasingly she is turning to the Internet as the fastest, easiest and most convenient way to search out the top luxury brands on sale.”

Danziger said Unity’s research found that buying luxury products on sale or discounted off the regular list price dominates the luxury consumer marketplace. In the latest survey among luxury shoppers a majority of affluent consumers made their last luxury purchase on sale or at a discount in 13 of the 14 product categories tracked. The lone exception was the fragrance and beauty products category.