I have a guilty pleasure: Half-priced chocolate.
For pretty much all of my adult life, I’ve delighted in going to the grocery store a day or two after a holiday like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or Easter and buying a few bags of chocolate at 50% off. Any other time of the year, I’ll just buy one bag when I exhaust my chocolate supply. But not after a holiday.
Last year, a company I work with sent me a gift, basically the best gift someone could send me: A box of chocolates. Not just any box of chocolates, but a box of premium truffles from Lake Champlain Chocolates.
I savored the truffles while they lasted, but eventually I ran out and had to move on to grocery store chocolate. The memory of those truffles stuck with me, and I knew I had to get more when the opportunity arose.
You see, these truffles are very expensive. The best deal on the Lake Champlain website right now is $80 for 30 truffles. It’s a fair price–the truffles are the size of golf balls–but it’s just a little too steep for my tastes.
So I subscribed to their e-newsletter and waited patiently. Finally, it happened: A few days after Christmas, Lake Champlain announced that select holiday products would be available at 50% off. I bought 30 truffles that day.
A few weeks ago, it happened again: Valentine’s Day was over, and they had extra stock to sell at 50% off. Apparently I bought too soon, because if I had waited another day, they would have offered the same chocolates at 60% off! But that’s okay. I’ve been eating them slowly, one or two a day at most. Maybe three.
But here’s the thing: Is this type of buying behavior wrong? If everyone were like me, Lake Champlain would go out of business. So I’m essentially relying on other people to pay full price just so I can continue to pay half price. Is that the right way for me to support a business that I’ve grown quite fond of?
At the same time, Lake Champlain doesn’t have to offer 50% discounts on chocolates. That’s their choice. If that stopped offering that option, I wouldn’t consider it an affront, and I’m sure I would occasionally treat myself at full price.
What do you think? I don’t presume to know the answer–I’m genuinely curious about whether you think what I’m doing is right or wrong.