The clearance rack has such a specific siren song, and it can feel impossible to resist. But have you ever contemplated what constitutes an actual bargain? Believe me, it’s not just a rock-bottom price. If you spend $10 on a skirt but NEVER wear it, that’s a waste, not a bargain.
Here’s a little quiz you can take next time you’re browsing the sale merch to make sure your money will be well-spent. Most are questions you’ve heard before, but all bear repeating.
Would you pay full price for it? Walking away from something that is dirt cheap can feel foolish, but it seldom is. I certainly get suckered into buying items simply BECAUSE they’re so inexpensive without contemplating how they fit into my overall style. So, as many have said before me, a great way to test the “why” of buying is to ask yourself if you’d ever paid full price for the item in question. If not, why are you so eager to snap it up now?
Is it a quality product to begin with? Cheaply made items sold at cheap prices aren’t bargains. They’re just cheap. Fabulously well-made items sold at cheap prices are actual bargains. Check seams, construction, materials, fasteners, fit, and durability.
Is it versatile? It might seem harmless to blow $4 on a pyramid-studded tank-top, but something that specific will likely have limited application. Ask yourself: Can you wear it to work AND on the weekend? Can you wear it during the day AND at night? Will it work through multiple seasons? Not every item has to be appropriate in every possible circumstance, but the more ways it can be worn, the more of a bargain it becomes.
Do you already own items that will compliment it? Those suede platform boots may be marked down to 70% off and calling your name … but if you have to buy a new pair of tights, a new dress, and a new jacket to make them work, they’re no bargain. Items that will work within the context of your current wardrobe are bargains to be sure.
Image courtesy abbyladybug.