Was Small Business Saturday Worth It?
If you read many blogs or were on Twitter yesterday, then you are probably tired of hearing about Small Business Saturday. As enthusiasts, we tend to get overly excited about deals which involve anything free, especially money!
I always do my best to figure out the math of a deal before participating, but sometimes I get too excited. Everyone’s excitement got me thinking yesterday about whether Small Business Saturday is worth it or not.
Since part of the focus of this blog is to look deeper into deals, I thought I would breakdown Small Business Saturday instead of just posting all of the “free” stuff I scored yesterday.
Why Does American Express Do It?
To start, lets look at what the promotion is designed to do. American Express designed Small Business Saturday not to gain goodwill with merchants (although this may be a side effect), but to build brand loyalty.
When you went and bought something yesterday, realizing that American Express was paying for it, you no doubt felt a sense of pleasure. In other words, you made an association between American Express and positive feelings. Amex Offers works in much the same way.
Was Your Return Worth the Time Invested
So how much time did you spend before Small Business Saturday planning? How much time did you spend at stores splitting your transactions? Was it worth it for the monetary gain you received?
In previous years, Small Business Saturday was much easier time wise, given that it didn’t require multiple transactions. For many years they gave $25 credits, which was great! Last year that was reduced to just $10. It only took me about 30 minutes to max out last year, but my take was much lower.
I am not someone who adds phantom authorized users to maximize my number of cards for promotions like Small Business Saturday. For me, there is too much risk of ruining my lucrative relationship with Amex, so I maximize without pushing too hard. Yesterday I had 12 cards which were eligible for Small Business Saturday.
My Return on Small Business Saturday
In addition to 2 x $10 transactions for lunch, I got $30 in free gas ($10 at a time), $110 in Ace gift cards, $10 worth of light bulbs & $200 in Amazon gift cards. Of course each transaction was carefully done $10 at a time.
Thankfully I am in an area where there are a number of participating merchants. My total time spent including driving and in-store was about 2 hours. I am not including lunch, since that wouldn’t quite be fair.
In the end, I received $360 for about two hours worth of “work”. I also spent about 30 minutes beforehand planning for Small Business Saturday, so we’ll call it 2 1/2 hours for $360 or $144 per hour. I generally consider a deal to be really good when it nets about $100 per hour of value.
While I probably could have answered the question as to whether or not Small Business Saturday is worth it in a shorter post, I wanted to break down my thinking and why it is so important to evaluate everything. In this hobby it is so easy to chase the wrong deals and not maximize the right ones.
Based on your time spent, do you think Small Business Saturday was worth it? How much time did you spend out there? How did your day go? Let me know!