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Student Discounts Part II

by Meghann on July 28, 2011

But, first – food! πŸ™‚

Snack

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Run

Speed workout with the Tampa Tri Team. Hurt. So. Good!

Dinner

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Chicken Apple Sausage in a Sweet Potato ‘Bun’ πŸ˜‰

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And the debate continues…

Whoa! You guys have a lot to say regarding the Student Discount Debate! Keep the comments coming!

I did want to interject a couple of points that didn’t hit me until I was driving home earlier this evening. You see, I come from a marketing background where the goal is to secure customers (and repeat customers) by any means necessary. Generally the quickest and easiest way to do this is by offering a discount.

A large part of my former position was planning and executing the company’s annual user group. Every year we would offer an ‘early bird’ registration discount to anyone who registered for the event XX amount of days before the event. After that, the event would be full price. What most people didn’t know was that we only budgeted for people purchasing tickets at the early bird discount rate. We would draw people in who missed the deadline by offering them the discount anyways. They felt special and technically we wouldn’t lose that money because we had budgeted for that anyways.

In my new position – as a social media consultant – I see the same thing happening with other events I help with. One group would distribute discount codes like crazy because people love discounts. If that code saved them $5 then they were 65% more likely to register then without the code. The code was primarily for people who ‘liked’ the Facebook page, but people used the code without ‘liking’ first all the time. As long as they were a paying registrant (extra $5 or not), my client was happy and wouldn’t turn them away.

When I set up one local business on Facebook I created a Facebook deal where a customer’s first check-in would guarantee a free donut with any coffee purchase. When the owner saw this his exact words were “Why only their first visit? If that check-in brings people in, then they can check-in as many times as they want and I’ll give them a donut each time.” He saw the business potential there and sunk his teeth into it.

Companies offer student discounts because they’re trying to draw students into their business. If they come in once – enjoy the discount- and then spread the word to their friends then the business has more than made their money back. If one local movie theater around here offers a discount, while the other one doesn’t, I’m 100 times more likely to go to the one with the discount. Yes, the theater is losing a dollar, but they’re gaining my business where they probably wouldn’t have it in the first place (considering the ‘cheaper’ theater is an extra mile out of my way).

I could go on and on here, especially with how many times people google ‘XX race discount code’ or ‘Victoria Secret Online Discount Code’ (how many of you have used the $10 July birthday month code when your birthday is in February?) Or my old gym that encouraged me to save $$ using my student id because they wanted me to join and if that got me to join then they were happy to do it.

My point is – it’s all relative.

I’m not saying it’s morally or ethically right (because it’s not!), but I wanted to take the marketing stand on why companies offer discounts in the first place. They want the business – plain and simple.

Again, I want to repeat I’m NOT taking sides. The point of my first post was to open a debate. I could go either way and I LOVED how there were so many passionate people vouching for each side. Seriously, check the comments out and see for yourself!

On a closing note, I asked one of my clients about the student discount debate – his response? “If they come in the door because I have the discount code and keep coming back because of it, then they can be a 20-something playing the role of a student and I’ll greet them with a smile every time.” πŸ™‚

1 Kara July 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I missed the hullaballo on the first post, but I’m down with getting discounts for anything. I can’t really pass for a student anymore, but I do use my military ID to get discounts. For example, the Old Navy here gives 10% off with military ID the 1st 5 days of every month. Also, Lowe’s gives 10% off everything all the time with military ID. I’m in the military, but I still have the ID (since I’m married to the military) and use it. πŸ™‚
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2 Kara July 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I meant to say “I’m NOT in the military” lol. You’d think I learned to type yesterday or something.
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3 Alaina July 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I use my military ID too since my husband is active. The best discount I’ve found is running sneakers! πŸ˜›
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4 Army Amy* July 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I never realized that there were so many sides to this debate! (A lot of the commenters in the previous post brought up things that I never considered.) Using the student ID post-graduation still doesn’t sit right with me but food for thought.*
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5 Katy (The Singing Runner) July 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I definitely like your rebuttal and it definitely is all about marketing! Businesses want to build “lifetime customers” and giving a discount to get them in the door is a major way to do it.

I took a marketing class last fall (when I was a marketing minor but have had to drop it now :() and my teacher gave us an example that has always stuck in my mind. Take a car dealership… a family of four (dad, mom, and two children) come in to look for a new minivan. The salesman is going to of course talk to the adults about the good parts of the van and try to get them a deal that they will go with. However, the salesman is also going to pay attention to the children by showing them the “cool” parts of the car such as dvd, cool buttons, etc. If you rope in the child at a young age, they will be more loyal to your company. It’s all about “brand loyalty.” I know that when I was looking for a car when I was 16, I ONLY wanted a Honda because that was the only brand of car that my parents had when I was growing up and truth be told, I will probably be a Honda owner for life.

I don’t really know where I am going with this anymore πŸ˜‰ but I like this post. Well worded and definitely makes a lot of sense!
Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..Blessed

6 Emily @ Savory and Savage July 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Great post. I see your point that any business generated is good business from the owners perspective.
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7 Cait's Plate July 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Wow I just went back and saw how many comments! That’s crazy (in a good way!) – looks like you hit on a good topic πŸ™‚

8 Hangry July 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

True, perhaps. I know nothing about marketing or business. But then why isn’t there a discount for anyone who thinks to ask for one or was ever a student?
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9 Lauren Harkins July 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I love this post.

I am 28 and still a student and have often felt strange using my student discount because of my age, but I think that if you can get a discount you should always take it. Businesses offer them for a reason and you are not cheating anybody!
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10 Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) July 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I’m totally down with taking advantage of any and every discount I can get my hands on. The companies that are posting the discounts are NOT losing money, otherwise they wouldn’t be offered in the first place. I will wave my military ID, college ID (I’ve been out of school for a couple years, but I paid a helluva lot of money to go to school in the first place! Gotta save so I can payback that CrAzY student loan πŸ™‚ ), and Hospital ID (Some places give discounts for working in a hospital–> ie we get 22% off our monthly verizon wireless bill, which is about to go to 25% bc my husbands jobsite actually offers a bigger discount!).

I NEVER buy anything without at least searching for a coupon first!!! That’s what they are there for!

I do think that EXTREME couponers take advantage of the system though. Its one thing to save money on your groceries/toiletries, but to by 124 mustard bottles and 98 bottles of aspirin is RIDICULOUS! Plus it wipes the shelves, leaving nothing for the next person to buy!
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11 Julie @ PBFingers July 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

i loved reading the comments on your initial post. they REALLY made me think about my own tendencies. great debate and it’s one i can honestly see BOTH side to!
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12 Diane July 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Is it really worth the little bit of money you save.
You never know who might be watching and what affect it will have on them.
If you have kids what kind of message does it send to them.
It’s lying no matter how you look at it.

13 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I’m curious – are you suggesting we never use discounts at all then?

14 Diane July 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

No just not using ones you are not eligible for.

15 Audrey July 31, 2011 at 3:00 am

I agree. It may seem like a harmless lie, but the effects are anything but. Just by posting that you use a student discount even though you are not a student, you probably opened up this idea of using discounts you don’t actually qualify for to a whole bunch of people who never even thought of doing that before-I know that though never even occured to me before. We ask businesses to be honest and not cheatus out of our money. Shouldn’t we do the same in return?

16 Me-Linh July 29, 2011 at 12:49 am

No it’s saving money. I think thats the message that the kids would get.
When my parents tried to save every penny using any kind of discounts I didn’t think they were lying. i thought they were trying to send me to college.

17 Kath July 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

As a small business owner I say: GET THEM IN THE DOOR!!

We also budget for discounts and we’re still making money, just less of it. I’d rather have less of a profit than no profit at all!
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18 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Thank You Kath! πŸ™‚

19 Rachel Wilkerson July 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

But Meghann, the discount on the tea didn’t get you through the door. You had every intention of paying full price until the opportunity to lie to save money presented itself.
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20 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I agree and that’s when the wheels in my head started turning because it didn’t feel right. This post was just explaining why businesses offer student discounts in the first place, not why I took advantage of the one at the tea place.

21 Rachel Wilkerson July 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I know… I am glad you questioned it! And posted about it, as it’s a behavior a lot of people who obviously wouldn’t even think twice! I am honestky more frustrated by the number of commenters who just shrug it off like it’s no big deal.

22 Marissa Elliot July 28, 2011 at 11:03 pm

couldn’t agree more rachel!

23 Kelly July 29, 2011 at 8:51 am

Yes, and it’s like the Groupons. They offer those discounts because 99% of the time people buy MORE because they have the discount and some weird physcology tells goes through the consumer’s head and it feels like we saved money, but really, the business wins because they probably make more money even with the Groupon than they would have not offering it. Once you get people in the door, they generally buy more than what they came to buy, and possibly, they wouldn’t have even tried your business had it not been for the idea of getting “half off” or “buy one get one free”, etc.

24 Jessica July 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

Unfortunately that isn’t the case with a lot of Groupons. πŸ™ I am a local business consultant and have worked with several ex-Groupon businesses, and they all saw little to no repeat business. I have heard of this from many others too.

25 Jessica July 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

Er — meant to say “additional” business (as in, people buying more than the Groupon is worth). The lack of repeat business is also a factor though.

26 Kelly July 29, 2011 at 10:51 am

That’s unfortunate. My dad’s in the hotel business, so this is what I was basing my comment on. The hotel has offered Groupons in the past and recently and they do bring in more nights per stay, but yeah, I guess they probably don’t bring in repeat customers. (And their success could be the area.) I guess most people are looking for that “instant gratification” factor and don’t take it as “Oh, I liked that product, let’s buy more.” I think this is especially true if it’s a pricier product. It’s justifiable to buy at discount, but most people aren’t going to do it regularly (thinking in Groupon terms…the items they often have aren’t regular everyday purchases…massages, hotel stays, even those photo canvas deals).

27 RhodeyGirl July 29, 2011 at 10:16 am

This is our philosophy as well. We would rather make $1 over $0- even if we potentially could have made $10.
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28 Nicole F July 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I just finished reading the comments on the first post and OMG — I didn’t realize there were so many saints among us.

Call it moral relativism, but I’m still in my early twenties, and poor (partially from student loan payments) I’m taking a discount where I can get it.

29 Ashley July 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Agreed πŸ™‚
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30 Hillary July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Ditto here, too. And as Kath pointed out, even the small business owners are willing to give discounts to get you in the door!
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31 Margaret July 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

haha, for real

32 claire July 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I’m with you too. I’m paying off being a student so if I believe we should have that discount. Obviously, there’s a point you can’t do that anymore, like you haven’t been in school for 8 years. But if you are fresh out and are stuck paying $300 dollars a month in loans, I’d say a .50 cent saving isn’t that bad.

But that’s me!
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33 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups July 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I love a good marketing discussion! (I’m not really taking sides in the debate because, like you, I was still using my student ID for discounts but now after reading comments, I feel really bad about it and will probably stop.) But I wanted to say that I learned at a marketing conference that initial research has shown that Groupons and Living Social Deals and those type discounts do bring in more initial business, but there’s a huge fall off in repeat business because people value the purchase as lower. They think that since they got it at a discount the first time, that should be what they pay everytime. This is why people keep using their student IDs. They once got that price and feel like that’s the value they should be paying from then on. So although coupons get more people in the door once, it takes more to get the repeat business. Just my two cents!
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34 Sarah @ goingongoals July 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I could not have said this better. As important as initial business is, the next big step is keeping your current customers.

I think this goes beyond marketing to how Americans think about money. So many Americans making purchasing decisions beyond their means that “deals” and discounts have become the norm. I can think of only a few times in recent history that I have purchased something at full price (and it was probably a race registration fee).

35 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Those seems to be what I purchase at full price too, though I do jump on the ‘early bird’ bandwagon and have paid for that in the end when I had to drop the race and own up to the ‘no refunds’ policy.

36 Deirdre July 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I’ve been a “silent reader” for the past 6 months, but this I had to comment on… I completely agree with your “it’s all relative” comment. I am a teacher, a former college grad, and graduate school grad, and I still use my “student ID” from grad school for a discount at my local gym… but, the way I look at it, I paid soooo much for grad school, that I deserve a little (and let’s fact it, it’s not ALL that much) discount on my gym membership. Yes, I could pay the full price if I had to, but I also feel like since I do have debt, I deserve a discount just as much as “students” whose parents (in many cases) are paying for their college degree (and I was one of those kids whose parents paid for undergrad). Very RARELY do you come across kids who pay for their education ENTIRELY (my boyfriend was one of the few, and he has no issues with me using my student ID) so in that case… who should get the “student discount”? kids whose parents are paying all their bills or people who work AND contributed to their college/grad school bills? ….

37 Mary July 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I just can’t get on board with the “I deserve” mentality of this post – you made a choice in going to graduate school, and you knew the costs up front. You got what you deserved – an education.

38 Deirdre July 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

your right, i did make a “choice”, but in this region, and economy, not having a graduate degree was going to severely hurt my chances of getting into my field of work and keeping a job… i knew the costs, and i did get an education… however, i also worked full time while doing so… so when i think of all the kids benefiting from “student discounts” who aren’t even paying for school, let alone paying for outside expenses (and believe me, i know MANY in the northeast who weren’t) i feel like i “deserve” a discount just as much, if not more, than they do… i guess the underlying question is “who are student discounts designed for???” because i think that it highly depends on your interpretation, but to me, it is meant to help those who are in school and/or working and could benefit from a little help in paying their bills (in which case i think i, and mealsandmiles, qualify)… but, maybe my interpretation is wrong…

39 Mary July 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

All of those are valid points, but we are still talking about life

40 Mary July 29, 2011 at 8:14 am

sorry – life extras, like going to the movies or going out to a tea shop, which no one really needs anyway.

41 M July 28, 2011 at 11:03 pm

“Very RARELY do you come across kids who pay for their education ENTIRELY”

disagree.

also, meghann, i have to disagree with the marketing angle. it seems like the discount was offered as an afterthought in this situation– it clearly didn’t draw you in. for someone who spends hundreds yearly on races, 40 cents doesn’t seem like it would break that bank.

if discounts were solely to bring people in, they would offer them to everyone–not just students.

i am kind of disappointed you would lie and say you were getting a PhD to get a discount. what if a prospective client overheard?

42 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 6:05 am

Clearly the PhD was a sarcastic joke. Most of what I said was in a very light hearted joking tone that was taken way too seriously on my first post. Obviously I would never say I have a PhD I was just trying to prove the point that I’m too old to be pulling off the student discount.

43 Deirdre July 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

i guess i should rephrase and clarify that i personally have not come across many people who paid for their education entirely… i know many people who contribute to the cost of their education, and pay for some of it… but i know only one person who actually paid for his/her entire education on his own… so in my experience, i rarely have come across people who do…

regardless, my initial question still stands, who are these “student discounts” meant for then? only for people who pay for their entire education on their own? if so, then companies offering these discounts should mention that when they advertise… but i don’t think that’s the audience they are targeting when they offer these promotions/discounts…

that’s just my opinion/experience though… and i think this is a “agree to disagree” situation… i personally don’t think meghann did anything wrong, and clearly she wasn’t serious about the “phd”… but when i used my grad school ID to get a discount at my gym, no one questioned me, and they could have if they wanted to…

also, i realize some of these discounts might be offered for “life extras”, i personally don’t think a gym membership (which is where i used my student discount) is totally a life extra though… i think it’s somewhere in between …

44 Morgan July 29, 2011 at 8:56 am

Everybody in this world has debt….that still doesn’t make it right.
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45 Allison July 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Kind of off topic — One thing I didn’t get in the comments to the first post was people saying that they are “technically” a student because they are in grad school and feel weird taking a student discount. I’m a phd student and don’t make much money. I take every discount I can get my hands on!

And yes, my husband who has been out of school 3 years uses his student id too. I’m not guilty in the least.

46 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I can’t believe how many people had such strong opinions on this! I can definitely see the “get them in the door” mentality. You’re still lying though and lying is wrong but, I’m not judging b/c I would do the same thing! haha
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47 Marissa Elliot July 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Good response, but I still think dishonesty is dishonesty no matter how you look at it. In life you should always strive to set a good example, and lying about being a student simply is not. It may save you a few bucks, but I personally don’t think it’s worth it.

48 Holly @ The Runny Egg July 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I can see both sides, but I know that for me: I would feel odd using a discount that doesn’t apply to me.
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49 Tropical Eats July 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I liked the Groupon comment on the original post.

For the most part, it seems like they give you more of a discount than a student ID discount would. Post-grad peeps have it lucky now with all of these daily deal sites.
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50 Bridget July 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I hear your point. But if businesses wanted to give the discount to more than students, they would. No lying necessary. Plus, you were at that tea place anyway. Not because of the discount. And I would guess this is also the case for most business we could get a student discount from — we’re going there anyway. So I don’t think your “they want the business” argument holds up in most cases.

51 Mary July 28, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I agree with this. So many businesses offer loyalty perks, BOGO deals, etc. – they make a choice on what to offer and who to offer it to.

52 Taysa July 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Not all businesses have the same kind of revenue from their products, though. I worked in a bookstore where we offered a “buy 10, get 1 free” deal. We averaged the price of 10 books bought and gave that as store credit to the customer. While our goal was to encourage customers to remain loyal to our store, books don’t have a high profit margin, and for someone to take advantage of that offer really means we were taking a hit that we couldn’t afford.

I just see it as a matter of principal.
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53 Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) July 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I agree with you! Companies are excited to be getting new customers, which is why they offer the student discounts in the first place. College students (as a whole) have more discretionary money than most groups due to loans, part-time jobs, and allowances from parents. Companies capitalize on this by offering these discounts.

I have my grad school ID, so even though I got my MBA over a year ago, I think the graduate school label is less likely to be questioned!
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54 Meagan July 28, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments on both parts of the debate, but I still think it’s wrong to use your student ID after graduating. That’s just me, though. I asked my husband what he thought of people using their IDs four or five years after graduating, and he thought that was a little ridiculous. However, he said he could understand why people would do it, especially in a world full of outrageous debt and $4/gallon gas! The reason I wouldn’t use my student ID just to get a discount after graduating is because of something I saw when I was about 17. My mom sent me to pick up a pizza at Domino’s, and I was standing in line waiting on the lady in front of me to finish paying. The man asked her if she (or anyone in her immediate family) was a firefighter/police officer (Domino’s used to give discounts to active duty military, firefighters, and police officers; I’m not sure if they still do), and she said yes. On her way out, the lady laughed as she told her daughter, “I always get the 15% discount. They’ll never catch on!” My father is a police officer, and as a result, my 17 year old self declined the discount, because I thought it was a way to “pay back” Domino’s for the other woman’s dishonesty. I just think it’s morally wrong to take advantage of the companies that offer discounts, especially when it’s being disrespectful of those who are military or other service professions. But then again, it just depends on how you feel about using it!
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55 kristine July 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Interesting debate. i have definitely noticed things I would have never noticed had there not been some sort of discount associated with it. Seems like if its discounted I can always justify buying it, because I am still saving…
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56 Rachel Wilkerson July 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm

The thing is, most 26 year olds are not choosing whether or not to patronize a place based on student discounts, so the “whatever gets ’em through the door!” argument doesn’t really hold up. And it isn’t like you are ONLY there because it is 40 cents cheaper than the competitor. You went in planning to pay the full price, so just pay it. Give the company their due! Businesses might just want to remove a barrier for students but they couldn’t stay in business if every adult in the neighborhood got that price.
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57 Rachel Wilkerson July 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Also, given the fact that Groupon is pretty much hemorrhaging money and the companies that do daily deals don’t have a great return rate on the customers who come in once with a Groupon (most just break even, but a lot end up losing money), I seriously question the marketing argument.
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58 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm

No doubt that Groupon is doing something wrong – I agree with that, but with SO MANY groupon look alikes popping up, it’s hard not to use them. Those are legally right to use, but is it ethical? That’s a whole other debate

59 Rachel Wilkerson July 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

At least with Groupon, I know I played by the rules. Also, I try not to change what places I go to (like for a pedicure for example) every time a new deal comes along for a new place. I try to reward them for the deal with brand loyalty if they earn it on my first (discounted) visit. Required? No. Good karma? Yes. I try not to hit and quit with businesses and do my best to give them what they deserve while still being a smart shopper. I may be broke but I just don’t feel entitled to tons of discounts. Don’t we get enough free shizz as bloggers anyway?
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60 M July 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm

“Don’t we get enough free shizz as bloggers anyway?”

exactly!!

61 Amy July 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

I don’t think referencing Groupon is relevant to the discussion about student discounts as a marketing tool. They are two different types of marketing. And Groupon is kind of an experiment. It works for some businesses, doesn’t work for others. That’s why some businesses offer deals through Groupon multiple times; others do not. If a Groupon campaign benefits a company, they are likely to try it again. If the company loses money, they are not likely to do business with Groupon again. The consumer just reaps the benefits of the marketing experiment. It’s not an ethical issue. If Groupon is bad for business, businesses will eventually stop partnering with Groupon, and Groupon will go down.
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62 Rachel Wilkerson July 29, 2011 at 7:28 am

No, it isn’t an ethical issue, you are right. Groupon is just an example of why getting people in the door with discounts isn’t always beneficial to the company. And Groupon isn’t doing so hot for that reason. I think that is relevant to a marketing discussion, which is what this second post was.

63 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

TO be fair, I left a larger tip then I normally would because of the discount. The girl who offered it was very sweet and I do go in their often, so they get my repeat business all the time.Also, those were just examples that came to my mind in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t pointing those towards tea experience. I feel like this is a debate where people are just going to have to agree to disagree on. I didn’t think twice taking the discount at the time, but after reading the comments, I won’t be taking advantage of it again. If anything came out of this, it’s that a lot of people realized that it is lying (honestly, I never thought of it as lying before, but I do now).

64 erin July 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm

this is going to sound rude because…well.. it’s kind of rude. but i find this whole post irrelevant.

lying is lying is lying.

this is not what the debate is about. i feel like this post is kind of like saying “i’m not trying to make excuses… but here is my excuse”. all of what you’re saying here may well be true, but it’s not the point. it may be a marketing tactic, but it still is not intended you to access.

you say you’re going to stop, but now it’s like you are defending your actions. (i know you say this is not your intention but how else can this come across?). you say you aren’t taking sides, but you took a side when you used your student id.

65 erin July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

intended FOR you to access* ugh haha

66 Marissa Elliot July 29, 2011 at 12:08 am

i totes agree. It’s one big, huge contradiction. There is no argument here. Lying is wrong, period the end. I think we can all agree to that! If dishonest is the way someone wants to be, then so be it.

67 Marilyn July 29, 2011 at 8:52 am

I am in total agreement with Erin and Marissa. I am also done reading this blog. Meghann…It seems that you think it is cute to get away with something that you know is wrong. When others didn’t find it so cute, you tried to justify it and put a marketing spin on it. Your immaturity astounds me! As long as your parents can fund week long vacations and you can float along on the wave of blogging (which won’t last forever), you don’t have to grow up. Good for you.

68 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep July 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Too bad you don’t have a blog I can go leave a nasty comment on.
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69 Dawn July 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Wow. I totally agree with you Andrea. Making comments about her vacation and her blogging is out of line and off topic. It has nothing to do with the matter at hand. I read your first blog about the discount and had no reaction at all. I figured, eh she probably saved 4o cents big deal. I lost my student ID many years ago so I couldn’t use it even if I wanted to but if I still had it, I’m sure I would have whipped it out every now and then and I don’t think anyone who comments here would make me feel bad about it. I honestly don’t think this is that huge of an issue and that there are bigger moral issues to tackle. I’m sure that everyone will be crying that I am guilty of moral relativism after they read this but aren’t we all. No one can say that they are completely moral and fair every day of their life. I think in the grand scheme of things using a student discount when you are not a student really isn’t that important. I think being kind and considerate of others is more important and many of the people commenting on this blog are certainly not doing that.

70 Shelley July 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm

This is so nasty! Just because you don’t completely agree with what she does doesn’t mean you have the right to make personal attacks! A lot of people commenting don’t agree with Meghann but they say it a lot nicer than this!

71 Katie July 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

See now it just sounds like you’re making justifications for doing something you know is not right. Other justifications in the comments section (of the other post) had to do with the ownership (if it’s a big box company, then it’s all right, but not if it’s a mom and pop type deal). If that makes you feel better.

72 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife July 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

That is very fascination stuff, thanks for sharing!

73 Hangry Pants July 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I guess this could be true, but I know nothing about marketing or business. I guess what bothers me is that I would never do this, and dishonest people (it IS lying no matter how much it benefits a business) get something they do not rightfully deserve just because they have the nerve to do it. While it annoys me, I like to think I am planting good karma seeds. πŸ™‚
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74 Paula July 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Love this, Heather!

75 s July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

wow. i don’t have a marketing background at all so this was really interesting. thanks! i have a grad student id though so i don’t have this problem. though for three years i worked between undergrad and grad school and didn’t really use my undergrad id.

76 SaraRM July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Very vaild points. I think discounts and coupons are very great things. Why not take advantage of an opportunity to save money when you have a chance, Im however not saying to abuse the system!

77 s July 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

also, i don’t see a problem with this whole using the student ID thing. if they check it and let you use it, then hey, why not. you are still paying them money so it is not like they are losing profits.

78 adrina July 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I’m sure Meghann didn’t post this to get scolded, reprimanded, or judged as many people here have done. She did it to open debate which only some people got. __Ugh, can’t stand the holier than thou comments!

79 Mia July 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

nobody is scolding her or juding her…people are expressing divergent opinions. If there is one negative thing I can say about the blog world is the it seems like different opinions are often not valued and even looked down upon. Every single blog I read all the comments are basically kissing the blogger’s ass…if anything I think Meghann is clearly interested in this discussions and isn’t taking it personally that some people don’t agree with her…I’m actually very impressed by her, because from what I’ve seen other bloggers do not handle this kind of thing well at all!

80 adriana July 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

There is a difference between saying “I respectfully disagree with you” which has been said and there is nothing wrong with that, and “I can’t believe you would do something like that, blah blah blah” which is essentially scolding her. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and obviously Meghann likes the discussion taking place. My opinion is that there are valid point from both sides and I still can’t stand the holier than thou comments and the ones that sound like they are scolding which ARE there as much as you don’t want to see it.

81 Molly July 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Pretty sure Kath (as a very new business owner) is not representative of all small business owners, great as she is.

82 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I would LOVE more small business owners to weigh in. Know any?

83 Meagan July 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I’m a small business owner, and I offer discounts and freebies to customers by having “contests” on my Facebook page, having coupon codes on Etsy, etc. I have a very high overhead, and I dislike when “potential customers” try to take advantage of me, AKA only buying from me because they know they can receive 10% off their order, and never coming back or even looking at my items again, even though they’re “so happy and pleased with what they ordered and they just love it!!!!” I want customers just as much as any other SBO, but I also like to keep my money in my pocket. I read above where Kath said that she considered a small profit better than no profit, and while I agree, I also like to think that my business is making enough profit to justify being open.

I wrote this in a flurry, and I hope other SBOs (if there are any out there) understand where I’m coming from!
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84 Caitlin July 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

I will weigh in πŸ™‚

I think there is a vast difference between the type of marketing tactics you are talking about in this post and the second one. The student discount is intended to help students, who are apparently broke, afford services. Marketing tactics like Groupon are intended to entice new clients who will try out the service and hopefully return to pay full price for them. Honestly, when reading your second post, I struggled to make a connection between your marketing argument and whether it’s okay for you to use a student ID.

As a small business owner, if I caught someone using a discount that didn’t apply to them (and I have caught people before), I would be so pissed. You are STEALING from the business owner. The business owner has offered a discount to a select group, and if you are not in the select group and take advantage of the discount, you are stealing money from the business owner.

I caught a patient using a double discount that they ‘knew’ they weren’t eligible for and I will forever view her as essentially a shoplifter. I think there’s a phrase about this… ethics is what you do when no one is looking. Just because you think you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.
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85 RhodeyGirl July 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

I respectfully disagree with Caitlin.

I am a part owner is a small family business, and our philosophy is that we’d rather make less than make nothing. It doesn’t matter to us what brings a customer to the table as long as they come, and making less of a profit is better than making no profit at all.
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86 Caitlin July 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

I guess it depends on where you start to lose profit.

If you took $.40 off a cup of tea, the business owner might be losing money.
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87 Caitlin July 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

Also, I guess it depends on your TYPE of business. At a business where discounts = a lot of cash (for example, when we give 10% off, we lost about $15 a patient), it makes a bigger difference.
Caitlin recently posted..Peas and Thank You Book Tour

88 RhodeyGirl July 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

That is a great point, but then again would a tea shop be smart if they offered a discount at all that would make them lose money?
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89 RhodeyGirl July 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

In our business the discounts amount to a LOT more than that, but we are willing to make a 5% profit over not making the sale at all- even if we lose potentially hundreds of dollars in the process.
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90 Caitlin July 29, 2011 at 10:27 am

I guess the real issue isn’t whether or not the business loses money – because there is no way to know that. The issue is whether or not the discount is intended for you. If it’s not, then I don’t think you should try to game the system.
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91 RhodeyGirl July 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

That is a great distinction to make, and I don’t entirely disagree with you. I think in this case the discount wasn’t a factor in whether Meghann went to that tea shop or not and that would be my issue with it. Otherwise, I see no problem with someone seeing an advertised discount, going to that place, and then using it even if it wasn’t exactly intending for them to use.
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92 Jessica July 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I have to agree with Caitlyn. I found it hard to make the connection between the first and second post.

As far as using student discounts, I’m not sure I agree with using them when you are no longer a student, but it is definitely tempting when there is a big saving. I am not holier than thou, though, and wouldn’t judge my friends if they asked for a discount. In my province, we used to be PST exempt from clothing for people aged 14 and younger…I was definitely guilty of saying PST exempt at 16 and 17. Now as a 20 something, though, it just isn’t worth it. I can afford to pay the ‘extra 40 cents’, so I will.

93 Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 29, 2011 at 7:16 am

I don’t own the business where I work but it’s a small mom and pop operation – we give out discounts left and right. Everyone in the neighborhood gets a discount, all of the friends that helped build the restaurant get a discount, people who come in and “say the magic word” get a discount… 10% is not a big deal, and if you’re more likely to come in for the 10% off then we’ll give it to you.
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94 Lucy July 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

Aren’t we missing the point here? The discussion is not rather people should use discount when they can but more about lying about what they are to get that discount.

I am all about bringing customers in and if you make 5% instead of 10% it’s definitely better than 0%!

It’s more a question of being fair to your customer .. Why would a loyal customer who doesn’t use bypass like these should pay the full price, while someone who pops once, uses the system, pay less??

95 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

I think this is where people’s points are varying. Some people are lobbying for just using it because it’s there, but others are turning into an ethical dilemma/ debate. I think that separation is what makes it so interesting and honestly stuff I would never have thought of before.

96 Lucy July 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

At the end of the day, it’s the kind of thing that some people will always do and some people won’t!

Exactly like cutting lines, waiting at the last possible second to merge a lane in traffic, taking free fruit/vegetable from someone else garden, “sampling” stuff at the grocery store, etc …

97 Laura July 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I had another thought regarding the discount and using my husbands mil discount. I do not feel bad at all when it is a large corporation. I used it with SW airlines while he was active duty, I currently use it at movie theatres, and then at sporting goods stores. I don’t even ask at mom & pop shops.

98 Jenn (eating bender) July 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I have to say that your posts and the comments that followed really got me thinking about this subject. I’m two years out (though still can’t believe that, really) and have been using my I.D. at the movie theater. It never really crossed my mind to use it anywhere else but I also did not fully consider the ramifications presented in the comments section (namely that it’s lying and cheating the system), which boggles my mind because I am probably one of the biggest rule followers around. I am literally having an “oh…DUH” moment. I think it’s officially time to retire the card.

Thanks for not being afraid to post about this, Meghann!
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99 Amy July 29, 2011 at 12:09 am

So, I don’t think I have used my student ID in a really long time (I graduated from college 5 years ago.) However, I have used it post-college before, but more often it has been the case that I have been given a student discount without asking for it. There have even been times that I have emphatically said, “No! I am not a student!” And the cashier has laughed and said, “what, are you an adult?! You must be a student. What are you 18? 19?” I am 27. I’m actually starting to get offended by these incidents!
But so, here is another question: Is it wrong to take a discount when it is thrust upon you by someone who laughs at the idea of you being your actual age?!?!?
I try to remember that maintaining a youthful look is highly desirable, but sometimes it’s just too much!
Amy recently posted..I lie!

100 katie July 29, 2011 at 3:42 am

This happens to me too- I’m the same age and apparently still don’t look legal so most people assume I’m still a college student, or horrifically still in high school. Everyone says I’ll appreciate it one day…

101 Marilyn July 29, 2011 at 12:11 am

Consider this: If you were 53 years old and could get a discount if you were 55, would you ask for it? I think many people would be offended if they were offered the senior discount. Funny how that works.

102 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 6:11 am

I know my aunts and uncles take advantage if the senior discount when they are technically not senior citizens yet. Where should they draw the line?

103 Katherina @ Zephyr Runs July 29, 2011 at 7:18 am

Hah, my Mom’s hair is completely white and she is GIVEN the discount, most times without her realizing it, and she is only 47!
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104 Andrea July 29, 2011 at 8:38 am

Ummm??? What??? They are eligible when they’re a senior, so apparently, not yet. Just as you are no longer eligible for a student discount. There’s the line.

105 Paula July 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Amen!! What is so hard about this, really?

106 Ari July 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

Yeah, I do not get this questioning of where the line should be drawn. THE LINE IS DRAWN! If you’re a legit student, you get the discount. If you’re not, you don’t. If you’re a senior citizen, you get the discount. If you’re not, you don’t.

107 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm

My uncle walked into McDonalds and came out with a 25 cent cup of coffee. He was so excited, thinking the prices had gone down. Of course, everyone had a good laugh when they explained the 25 cent of coffee was the senior discount rate. The cashier saw his white head of hair and automatically gave it to him without telling and he didn’t know he was getting it. Happens all the time now that he’s gotten even grayer/whiter.

108 Marilyn July 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

Ponder this question:
If you were 53 years old and could get a discount if you were 55, would you ask for it? Or would you rather be seen as far too “young” to get a discount?
Funny how that works.

109 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Nah. My Dad tries for the senior discount even though he’s 48. It’s a game to him. He think it’s funny when people think he’s older than he is. Funny how the tables turn when we get older.

110 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm

And it’s not just him. My uncles have contests over it. Like ‘whose the eldest today?’ I have an odd family.

111 Ida July 29, 2011 at 12:26 am

interesting points. Maybe post-college it is better to patron places with reward cards and other discount programs. That way we get ‘ethical’ discounts and encourage stores to give us the little thrill of saving some pennies.

112 J July 29, 2011 at 12:38 am

Ugh, the “holier than thou” comments are annoying. I’m no saint but what I am is HONEST.

113 adriana July 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

AGREE!!!! I may not agree with taking discounts that I am not entitled too, but I am not going to post comments saying ” I would NEVER do something like that” or anything of that sort.

114 Me-Linh July 29, 2011 at 12:45 am

Hmm I say go for it. I’m a student now and paying 100K+ for an education to get a job warrants a discount or two, regardless if its .40 cents or 40 dollars.
AND as an Economics major any kind of consumption if its a discounted drink or not, boosts our economy. So no guilt should be felt. Once you make back the amount you spent on your education from those discounts, than maybe feel guilty. But of course, that’ll never happen unfortunately.

115 Megan July 29, 2011 at 12:47 am

Whew this debate got heated quick! I wasn’t going to weigh in, but I really enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions. I think many people are dishonest and quick to judge others, without looking at their own faults. Maybe not everyone uses their student id’s, but they may cut corners somewhere else.

With that being said, I know the debate is the about using student id’s and, honestly, I’ve never even thought about it. I graduated in May 2010 and look like I’m about 16, so I’m sure I could get away with it. I am a big proponent of “voting” with my dollars so the discount or potential to get a discount is usually outweighed by other factors.

Regardless, props to you for welcoming a debate to your blog !

116 katie July 29, 2011 at 3:44 am

I’m assuming that people here would also think that a “senior” taking advantage of a senior discount would also be in the wrong.

117 Morgan July 29, 2011 at 8:57 am

Why would a senior using a senior discount be wrong? This whole discussion is about using a discount that doesn’t apply to you.
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118 katie July 29, 2011 at 11:14 am

“senior” in quotes should imply that the senior is not really a senior. so, as someone above mentioned, a 53 year old asking for a senior citizen discount when the policy states that senior status begins at 55.

119 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I would feel bad turning away a 53 yr old…

120 Sarah July 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

Oh yeah, I use my student ID card to get discounts all the time.

I went to a really small college, with only about 1,000 students total. We were given one ID card for 4 years of school, so it has no date on it whatsoever. Businesses have no way of knowing that I graduated three years ago.

Plus *most* of the businesses that offer solid student discounts (movie theaters, major restaurant chains) aren’t going to suffer from losing the $2 or $3 I save using the discount. That’s how I justify it.

Movies are grossly overpriced anyway.
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121 Shannon July 29, 2011 at 8:10 am

There is no justification for falsely using student I’d as your mis-reprisenting your all adults make your own decisions if you get caught the worse they can do is take the card off you, there are definately worse things going on in the save your energy for that, be grateful you guys get student discount we don’t in UK and I’m doing a three year Nursing Degree x

122 Sophie July 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Do you not have NUS cards at your uni? I thought every university and most sixth form colleges did. I’m doing my PGCE at the moment and even my student ID card gets me a student discount at shops like Topshop, New Look etc, at the cinema and at local businesses.

123 Hope July 29, 2011 at 8:31 am

This is such an interesting debate. Thank you for taking the time to talk about this. πŸ™‚ I’m 27 and I couldn’t even tell you the last time I used my student id. Honestly, I don’t even know where it is at this point. I think I would feel really funny using it because I haven’t been a student for several years now.
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124 Morgan July 29, 2011 at 8:32 am

I have to say when I read the first post regarding you using a student discount when you’re clearly not a student anymore I did think it was wrong but at the same time I didn’t think it was earth shattering, oh no you didn’t type of an “I admit” however when I read this post I was struck with the feeling that you seem to be trying to justify now something that you obviously know is wrong. I see what you are saying as far as a marketing standpoint goes however, if all those business out there who offer random discounts to students or military or whatever didn’t mind if you or anyone else fibbed a little while using their perks then I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have the guidelines for using them that they do, such as showing your student id.
Those discounts aren’t just there to help the business owner gain more business, they are also there to help those who are shoveling out money for school or dedicating their life to protect our country or even to say thank you for just being a customer (in reference to your VS offer codes- and no I have never searched for birthday codes to use when it is clearly not my birthday) not for you or anyone else to take advantage of it.
And no, I am not a student or in the military, I just think that if you know you shouldn’t be doing it then don’t.
Love your blog though. πŸ™‚

125 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I’m not justifying it, just adding another side of the story. In the first comments people were really talking about the businesses and all of my marketing background started to kick in, so I had to respond.

126 Brittani July 29, 2011 at 8:44 am

I’ve been a silent reader for a while and I have to say I love your blog and your honesty towards issues that can be hard to discuss!! I wanted to comment because this was an issue I recently faced. I just graduated from college this spring and still have my ID. Last month I went to a movie and the woman at the counter asked me if I was a student. I automatically answered no and then realized I could have gotten a discounted ticket. For a second I wished I had said yes to get the dollar off. However, I’m glad I didn’t. I didn’t feel that was honest and I would have carried some guilt with me if I did lie.
I don’t think you are a bad person at all! I guess my point is that every person is different and something that affects one person may not affect other. Keep up the good blogging!

127 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thanks Brittani!

128 Margo July 29, 2011 at 8:57 am

Meghann, I am in marketing too and definitely agree with points in your post. I work for an association where we also will give people the early rate past the deadline. We also have a student rate for our memberships that we extend to people who can’t afford the regular membership. We do this all the time because ultimately it benefits us to have them as student members than to not have them at all! I’m really surprised by people’s strong reactions to this.

129 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I know – it’s crazy isn’t it? It’s actually making me realize how unethical marketers are. Ha!

130 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life July 29, 2011 at 9:04 am

Meghann – I am sorry that your post became so controversial. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion regardless if it is in contrast to your personal one or not. No need to attack other people. I commend you for brining up this subject and presenting both sides, you are a great writer!
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131 Danielle July 29, 2011 at 11:57 am

I completely agree with this! Meghann, kudos to you for addressing this in a second post, and it’s awesome that you’ve stayed very open to both sides of the argument. I’m not sure I would’ve held up as well as you have against the “holier than thou” attitude that is running through the comments.

132 Sherri July 29, 2011 at 9:13 am

I have a valid grad student id and sometimes feel guilty using it in this economy ( I have a lot of respect for the small business owner trying to make things work these days) , as both of us are employed and doing okay financially. After reading your post, I will definitely feel less guilty.
My 16 year old son is small for his age and young looking and often orders off the kid menu. Even that bothers me a bit, as usually the age is 12 and under, but the restaurants don’t offer the same food on the regular menu, and he’s a pb&j, hot dog, kid pizza kind of kid. He wouldn’t eat the things on the regular menu. And no waiter has ever complained.

133 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm

The kid menu is a whole other issue. I order off of it sometimes just because the portions are smaller and sometimes they do have things on there I want, but aren’t on the regular menu. I’ve even offered to pay $5 above the regular price just so I could have the kiddie option. πŸ™

134 Hangry Pants July 29, 2011 at 9:35 am

I can only speak for myself, but I personally wasn’t saying I am holier than thou or never lie. The question posed was anther you use your student discount and what you think of them. I never use mine because I’m 31 and haven’t been a student for several years. I was simply pointing out that it is lying, regardless of justification. If you use it, own up that it’s lying and then, if you need to establish your reason. Of course I tell lies and am not always honest, but I don’t try to pretend I’m not lying.
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135 M July 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm

But lying is lying,so honestly I don’t think your lying is any
better or different than Meghann’s lying.

Now perhaps this leads to a discussion on if one believes a lie
can be a “white lie” or not…?!! Thia could go on forever….

I think we have all lied in our lives ,and perhaps we should all list
our lies to see whose is worse?!(Just kidding folks! πŸ˜‰

136 Court July 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

Businesses just want your money. They want you to buy something and then come back. Businesses do not offer discounts because they feel bad for poor college students. They do it to get you in the door plain and simple. They would NOT have a student discount if it was unprofitable for them… and most student discounts are a joke anyway. $0.40? 10% off? Come on. It barely affects their bottom line and it makes the customer feel like they are getting a great deal when the business is still profiting anyway.

137 Lucy July 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

No disrespect, but I think this is not the point of the discussion .. Of course business can afford those kind of discount. But should you take advantage of it?

If you would find a wallet with money in it on the street, is it fair game or would you give the money back to the person? Heck, that person can afford to lose his/her wallet??

138 Mallory @ It's Only Life July 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

Meghann, if using a discount that doesn’t technically apply to you anymore is the most immoral thing you do in your life, good for you, girl.

But seriously… yes, it’s technically “wrong,” but if you do it a few times in your life, is it worth losing sleep over? There are so many more important things to debate over!
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139 Jess July 29, 2011 at 10:59 am

I completely second this thought!

140 breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 July 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’m not a marketing major, but I did have to take a marketing course as part of my major (which is business-related) and I can see why businesses would be OK with slightly older people using student discounts.

However, you ARE being dishonest if you’re not a student and you’re still using your student discount.

141 Hannah N. July 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

I think that using your student ID to get a discount is VERY different from cheating on your taxes. For one, cheating on your taxes is illegal. And second, if you want to get the most out of your tax return, hire a tax accountant who can help you get all of the deductions and credits you are elligible for (legally!).

I personally don’t use my student ID anymore and do so because I don’t feel honest. I don’t judge or look down on those that do, that is their perogative and their choice to do so. I do, however, love a discount and try to take advantage of them whenever I am elligible. One thing to think about is that often colleges and universities offer alumni discounts on different things. For example, my alum association offers discounts on health, life and car insurance which, when taken advantage of, would be much more of a benefit for my wallet than using my student ID at the movie theaters.

142 Lee July 29, 2011 at 10:50 am

I honestly never really thought about it much before your last post on it, but I read some people that are saying that even though they are in grad school or an older student, they don’t even use it. I think that a student discount can be used by students of any age. Student doesn’t just mean 22 and under.
Lee recently posted..My Most Used Cookbook

143 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

I agree. I had 44 year old co-workers that went back to school and were students again. They are owed the discount, just like every other student out there. It’s weird some people put an age limit on it.

144 Lindsey July 29, 2011 at 10:52 am

If businesses cared that much about if people were students or not, don’t you think they would be more careful checking IDs, dates on the ID, etc.? We have more problems in the world than getting mad about someone who uses a student ID. Bottom line: it’s about the business, no more no less than that.

145 Mary July 29, 2011 at 10:59 am

The bottom line is about honesty, even when no one is paying attention. It is not the fault of the business if people take advantage of them. It is just like saying that stores should go through your purse when you leave to make sure you haven’t stole anything – because if they don’t, it’s their fault when people take things. Of course we have more problems in the world, but this debate is about making ethical choices.

146 Parita @ myinnershakti July 29, 2011 at 10:55 am

First off, I commend you Meghann for blogging about something like this. You were honest and you opened youself up to all kinds of comments and I respect you for that. Sometimes I don’t blog about a particular topic because I know the debate could go either way, and I don’t want to take heat for my views. If anything, I’ve learned that it’s ok to bring up seemingly controversial topics…it’s healthy – you just have to be ready for both sides.

Second, yes, if you’re thinking about this whole thing from an ethically/moral/personal point of view…it’s wrong. Period. BUT, if you take the business standpoint, I can see the flip side. I graduated from business school a year ago, and we had debates similar to this one all the time. It’s not so black and white when you start to look at discounts vs. profit, loss, customer demographics, customer retention, marketing, consumer behavior, etc.

I’m not taking sides either way because I honestly need some time to think about where I stand from an overall perspective, but I do believe it’s not so clear when you mix personal ideals with business objectives.

147 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thank you Parita. I respect and appreciate you comment. πŸ™‚

148 Eunice July 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

I am technically still a student at 28 (went back to school), but I haven’t used my discount in many, many years. Part of it is ethics, and another part is just guilt. Being dishonest makes me paranoid. What you do is your business though. I don’t think it’s a horrible crime, but I don’t like that people are on here saying how awesome it is to use student ID’s when they are no longer students.
Eunice recently posted..Dealing With Different Goals

149 Shannon July 29, 2011 at 11:14 am

There is no justification for falsely using student I’d as your mis-reprisenting you are all adults make your own decisions if you get caught the worse they can do is take the card off you, there are definately worse things going on in the wordl save your energy for that, be grateful you guys get student discount we don’t in UK and I’m doing a three year Nursing Degree x

150 Sarah @ The Strength of Faith July 29, 2011 at 11:16 am

Who knew this would be such a debate?

For what it’s worth, when I was finishing up my master’s, I was in CT visiting my parents (I lived in GA at the time) and my mom asked me to help her get a new computer. We were at the apple store and the sales rep was doing some mental math and looked at me and said, “so the computer is for you and you’re a student, right?” I was kind of confused and started to say no and she repeated herself. Apple offers a decent student discount. My mom was so impressed that apple did everything they could to save her money that she threw away all of her nerves about switching from a PC and has had nothing but good things to say about apple ever since. Very good marketing tool for them.
Sarah @ The Strength of Faith recently posted..Sanity.

151 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

The Mac store did the same thing to me when my bought my original MacBook. They were really great about it and used the discount as a great selling tool.

152 Jaclyn July 29, 2011 at 11:26 am

Meghann, I bet you are also one of those people who sample at Costco/Sams even though you have no intention of buying those cheesy TGI Friday’s potato skins. I also bet you are that person who uses the only handicap stall so you have more room to set down all of your shopping bags stuffed with all of those goodies you bought with that 5% off student discount!

How dare you?!

Love your blog. I wish some people would think twice before unleashing cruel and hurtful words to someone who has taught so many of us the importance of living a healthy, happy life. We all are guilty of something, though most people hide those issues in ther closet and never directly confront those issues to others. By addressing this, Meghann did something that was brave and we should commend her for her bravery to talk about something so many of you have such strong conflicting beliefs.

153 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

ha! *hangs her head in shame* Yep, that’s me. πŸ™‚ Thank you Jaclyn, I appreciate the comment.

154 Raya July 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

BAHAHA when I read the first couple lines of Jaclyn’s comment I thought “Oh boy here we go…” but then I kept reading and loved it. πŸ™‚ And I agree with her!!!!
Raya recently posted..Mind Over Matter

155 Rebecca July 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

So I’m an online college student and don’t have a ID card and now I feel totally ripped off. I didn’t realize how many places offer student discounts!!

156 Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories July 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I love the sweet potato bun idea–I will be using that one the next time I have both a chicken sausage/hot dog and a sweet potato!
Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories recently posted..Sunny Seed Story #31: Sunny Seed Hot Chocolate

157 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep July 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Like I said on the last post, discounts basically get thrown at me from small businesses to big businesses. “Disney cast member? No? Well, here. Have it anyway”. “Homeowner? No? Well, go on our time share presentation anyway and get the $150”. I took the cast member discount because it was a small discount, and if they couldn’t afford to give me the discount, they wouldn’t have basically forced it on me.
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep recently posted..An Evening in the Kingdom

158 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep July 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Oh, and P.S. people cheat on their taxes ALL THE TIME! Because of my job as a loan officer, I look at tax returns all the time. One was so bad I reported him to the IRS.
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep recently posted..An Evening in the Kingdom

159 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Andrea – I <3 you.

160 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep July 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I heart you too!
Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep recently posted..An Evening in the Kingdom

161 Amanda Russell July 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Looks like the perfect meal. Low calorie but tastes like a splurge.

-Amanda Russell
http://www.amandarussellworkouts.com/
http://www.facebook.com/arussellfit

162 Mary Schaperow July 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

If I were you, and thought that it was correct to use my student ID, I would ask every establishment that I wanted to use it a,t if it was OK with them. Even tho I was no longer a student. Then…..the onus is on them to decide if they want to giveme a discount or not.

163 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thats a great idea Mary. πŸ™‚ dimples and to the point.

164 Hangry Pants July 29, 2011 at 7:19 pm

M, I didn’t say my lies were better or worse. This was a post about using a student ID when you are not actually a student. That was all my comment spoke to.
Hangry Pants recently posted..King Bed Debate Follow Up

165 LizP July 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I have no issue with marketing ploys and business strategies to get customers “in the door.” However……

My family used to eat at a restaurant where kids under 10 “eat free.” Once I turned 10 we returned to the restaurant and the waitress asked how old I was. My dad told her, “10.” My mom started to give my dad a hard time telling him that the waitress would’ve never known the difference and we were on a tight budget (both true). My dad’s answer was, “Yeah, but we would’ve known the difference and it isn’t right.”

It’s the little lessons that we remember and the little everyday actions that shape our character.

166 Jessica @ Jessica Balances July 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I read often but rarely comment… I don’t know why any of you are surprised that Meghann is still using her student discount as she clearly comes from a very thrifty family. She seems to love Groupons, Living Social deals, etc and her sister is practically an extreme couponer (seriously; it’s pretty impressive the stuff she gets for free)… I get that many of you think she’s wrong for lying, but maybe her first instinct is to save money no matter what. Meghann, I don’t intend to offend you, and I hope I have not; you just seem like you really love a discount! Maybe it would be more ethical to only use discounts that actually apply to your current status, though. πŸ™‚

167 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I’m fascinated how people are so over the spectrum and so passionate about it on both ends! It’s like a dirty little secret (like cheating on your taxes) that no one talks about. I guess we’ll file this as a ‘don’t go there’ topic from here on out. Right up there with religion, politics, and football.

168 Meghann July 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Oh and smoking! I posted about being anti-smoking on here once and was really surprised how many attacks I got. Was not expecting that then, but kind of expecting that here.

169 M July 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I don’t think most people cheat on their taxes….

170 Marissa Elliot July 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

are you now also saying that you cheat on your taxes as well?

171 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Weird. I think the original comment I responded to this on was deleted somehow?

172 J July 29, 2011 at 12:32 am

LOL. My thoughts exactly.

173 Meghann July 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

I didn’t say most people did! But It’s that dirty elephants in the room that some people do but never talk about.

174 OntarioGirl July 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

I know lots of people who cheat on their taxes! Or at least try to figure out the best way to file their taxes so they don’t have to pay the government so much. Is that cheating and lying? The government gets enough money from us!!!!!
I can’t believe these people who are commenting acting like they are always so honest and never do anything to benefit themselves or save a little money.
Companies mark up their goods so much that I’m sure it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. People need to relax!
Love your blog Meghann! πŸ™‚

175 Rachel July 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

RE: “I know lots of people cheat on taxes! … The government gets enough money from us!!!!!”

The government also does a ton of stuff for us too–like fixing roads, paying for public education, funding firefighters and police officers, offering health care. (Oh wait, scratch that last one.) So, yeah cheating on your taxes might “benefit” you, but then you might have potholed streets, or your public college tuition might increase by 30% like it has in California for the last two years, or your local firehouse might close down. Doesn’t sound like it’s a great benefit after all.
Rachel recently posted..Homemade Aid

176 Rachel July 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

RE: β€œI know lots of people cheat on taxes! … The government gets enough money from us!!!!!”

The government also does a ton of stuff for us too–like fixing roads, paying for public education, funding firefighters and police officers, offering health care. (Oh wait, scratch that last one.) So, yeah cheating on your taxes might β€œbenefit” you, but then you might have potholed streets, or your public college tuition might increase by 30% like it has in California for the last two years, or your local firehouse might close down. Doesn’t sound like it’s a great benefit after all.
Rachel recently posted..Homemade Aid

177 Molly July 30, 2011 at 4:32 am

Based on your comment “name”, I’m assuming you live in Canada. The tax structure there is VERY different than the US.

178 Molly July 30, 2011 at 4:33 am

Based on your comment β€œname”, I’m assuming you live in Canada. The tax structure there is VERY different than the US.

179 Rachel July 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I don’t know why this posted twice. I meant to post it under OntarioGirl’s comment. Sorry!
Rachel recently posted..Homemade Aid

180 OntarioGirl July 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

I’m just saying it happens, that’s all. A lot of people also do “cash jobs” so they can cheat the government and not pay taxes on that. Not saying I personally do it, just saying it happens! Like Meghann said, I think this subject is best to just agree to disagree because everyone seems to have a strong opinion about all of this!

181 Molly July 30, 2011 at 4:34 am

ugh why did it post twice!
supposed to be under “ontariogirl” comment

182 Lindsey July 29, 2011 at 10:53 am

Why would you get attacked for not smoking on a health blog? people are weirdos.

183 Erin July 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

That is not what was said. She’s referring to when she told a stranger smoking how terrible it was. Very different from being attacked for not smoking.

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