Sunday, January 17, 2010

Can We Just Leave It Alone?

Last year, I bought a new Hewlett-Packer printer and did the typical techno-geek thing and registered it online. Now, I'm getting emails from HP advertising sales they're running, which is all fine and good by me. But I think we've gone a bit overboard with some of the sales that have become attached to holidays.

Tonight, my HP email advised me of an MLK Day sale. It's bad enough that we have to endure Presidents Day sales (because when you think of mattresses or tires, you think of Millard Filmore), but MLK Day? Can't we leave at least that holiday alone, for the love of Pete? We've reduced a day commemorating a civil rights leader to another day to shill products, and I'm not too happy about it. If nothing else, we should put a "no buy zone" around certain days so that we can reflect upon their significance without being inundated by car dealers with inflatable gorillas talking about cutting $500 off the sale of any new or used vehicle "in honor of the holiday."

Yeah, I know my idea is going to cost some businesses money, but if an Arbor Day sale means the difference between staying open and going out of business, there are a lot deeper problems with your business model than holiday advertising. Capitalism works best when it shows a healthy respect for its customers. Having an MLK Day sale doesn't do that.

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