In defence of Zoella’s £50 advent calendar (and an important warning)

Have you read all the fuss about Zoella’s advent calendar?

Zoella if you don’t know if a multi-million pound Youtuber with a big army of teen followers. She’s flogging her advent calendar at Boots and fans are outraged because it costs £50.

That’s bloody steep at that price anyway, but the problem really is that the items in it are probably worth about £20 if you’re being fair. Fans think she is conning them.

What did I tell you the other day?

So why am I sticking up for Zoella eh? A couple of weeks back, I wrote a blog about price anchoring. It’s this nasty little trick that retailers do to make you think you’re getting a deal when you aren’t really. (Remember this bit… it’s important later.)

Stick on your tinfoil hat because I have a theory.


Running up to Christmas every year, Boots has a new Star Gift every week. It’s generally a beauty gift set at half price and they are VERY popular. Like, people will queue outside the shop to get their hands on a Soap and Glory Star Gift. There’s so much hype about it.

Zoella has no say in the price of the calendar

I really am not a Zoella fan-girl. So don’t go thinking she could kill a load of kittens and I’d be OK with it. I wouldn’t be. Obs.

What Zoella has said, is that she designs the advent calendar (I’m not here to say if it’s good or not), then it goes off to other teams she has nothing to do with, like licencing and the Boots team who decide what the price is.


RRP? That’s ‘recommended retail price’, if you stock it in your shop, you can charge what you like for it. Your shop, your rules.

Contracts are signed, deals are made, and you lose control/power of things. It’s how the world works.


I have a genius theory

Now…. Zoella’s calendar was meant to be a Star Gift at some point (meaning it is sold for £25 as an offer). Hmmm…. £25 eh? That sounds about right for one of these calendars don’t you think? Where on earth did they come up with the figure of £50?!


*Picture me as a sexy Columbo (or Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock if you’re under 30).*


I think that Boots had no real intention of selling them for £50. Not really. You just have to sell it for £50 for a while to be actually allowed to say it was on offer when you slash the price.

An advent calendar that was £50 but is now £25 sounds far more tempting than a calendar that costs £25 and probably has about £20 worth of stuff in it (you have to take into account branding etc… as that has value – sorry. That’s why a Montblanc pen is £250, but a similar quality one – say a Parker is £25.

I think Zoella is taking the brunt (and to be fair, her name is on the box) for Boot’s nasty marketing ploy. Anyway, here’s the calendar if you want a nose.

That warning I was talking about

You know, I’m not going to cry myself to sleep worrying about Zoella’s feeling about this. Her name is on the calendar, she made money from selling them, but it does perfectly highlight a problem that is about to happen next week – Black Friday.

Oh Black Friday. God, I’m sick of that phrase and we’ve only had it four years or so. We all know it’s a load of crap. But it’s tempting because they use anchoring techniques and actual science tells us it messes with our brains.

So now, if you plan on doing any shopping on the big day, take a look at the price of items you are thinking about buying now. Get a good idea of what something is worth, because seriously – these companies have spent MILLIONS of pounds on marketing to con you out of your cash, so don’t let them do it easily.

So think I’m going to get stick for this blog post. If you disagree (or agree), let me know in the comments. x


  1. Deborah Gregory November 15, 2017
  2. Jan. November 16, 2017
  3. Cass Bailey November 19, 2017

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